Medications

While there is no known cure for arthritis, medications and treatments can help to reduce pain and maintain joint movement.

The medications most commonly prescribed by doctors include:

  • NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • COX-2 Inhibitors
  • Analgesics that lessen pain and work to reduce swelling
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologics

Prior to prescribing for you, your doctor’s first question will be, “Are you allergic to any drugs?” 

Before accepting his prescription(s), ask your doctor about results you can expect and how soon the drug should start to work.  Ask him or her about any known potentially harmful side effects of the drug so you’re alert to them.

Be sure to ask how your progress will be monitored. Will you require routine blood tests? 

Your doctor may suggest that you relieve pain with local steroid injections for a specific painful joint.  Most doctors will not allow more than three injections per year as they may weaken bones.  If you participate in sports professionally, steroids are not for you.

 

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