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An Overview Of The Different Arthritis Medications

May 29, 2008
Patients suffering from arthritis have to undergo a wide range of treatments which includes medication. There are over 100 medications that are presently being used to treat arthritis. However medicines at this stage can only help people suffering from arthritis, and not act as a cure. The medicines can be used to reduce pain, improve joint mobility, decrease flare-ups and reduce inflammations. The aim of this article is to present an insight into 4 main types of medicines that can be used by arthritis patients.

The first category is called pain-relieving medicines which include aspirin, paracetemol and ibuprofen. As a matter of fact, aspirin and ibuprofen are mainly anti-inflammatory drugs; however they also contain small amounts of pain killing doses. These pain relieving drugs are available at almost all chemists, without subscription from doctor.

Anti-inflammatory medicines can be used to decrease flare-ups and reduce swelling. It comes in two packages which include Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids. NSAIDs need to be taken over an extended period of time so to make it more effective. However its side effects include stomach problems. It is the most common prescribed medicine against arthritis. Some NSAIDs include naproxen (Naprosyn), fenbufen (Lederfen), piroxicam (Feldene) and Cox - 2 inhibitors. However there have been concerns raised about the safety of Cox-2. Steoids are very effectives against inflammation. However they can cause harm to the body is used for a long period of time. They are mainly used to bring severe cases of arthritis under control before any further prescriptions are given.

Disease-modifying medicines are used with cases which involves damage to the immune system such as by rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. They can be either taken in by mouth or through injections and deals with the whole of immune system, instead of the symptoms. Some types of this kind of medicine are methotrexate, sulfasalazine and gold (sodium aurothiomalate).

Biologic response modifiers (BRMs) are increasingly being used in the treatment of arthritis. They were used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis, however now they have assumed a new role and are used to treat patients in the early stages of arthritis, so to prevent profound damage to the joints. Although many people with rheumatoid arthritis find BRMs effective, it is still not suited for everyone with arthritis. The downside of these products is that they are expensive and can only be given through injections or infusion.

All medicines contain some side effects. Also these side effects may vary from patient to patient. Many patients undertaking arthritis related medicines experience certain side effects such as stomach pain. Nevertheless arthritis medicines can be very powerful and can have a profound effect on the body. There are certain approaches in order to reduce minimize the side effects. It is important to take to take medicines according to instructions such as 2 times in the day. Your doctor must be constantly supervising you so that he or she can see whether the intake is going according to the plan. Another important aspect to be taken into account is that the benefit of taking the medicine shall be weighed against the harm of not taking them. Arthritis can get worse if no medication is taken.

The reason so many medicines for arthritis has been produced is to meet specific demand of arthritis patients. Also using one can have side effects. Therefore the range of medicines allows a person to choose ones that gives least side effects to him or her. Before you start taking any medicine, it is essential for you to contact your family so to great a grip of the actual situation and choose the medicine that best caters to your needs. Additionally, it is very important for pregnant women to consult their doctors. Some medicines contain strong side effects and can be harmful to the baby. Therefore it is essential to adjust medication in such cases.
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