Top 3 Inflammatory Arthritis Treatments
It’s often impossible to ignore the pain caused by inflammatory arthritis. The often debilitating soreness is caused by inflammation in the joints, and while there’s no cure for the condition, the pain can be effectively managed with certain medications. Typically, arthritis medications fall into several categories of drugs including biologics, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), steroids, Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, and steroids. When prescribing medication for inflammatory arthritis, the doctor takes into consideration the patient’s age, disease activity, and other factors. Since each patient is unique, establishing which medication or combination of medications works best is not easy. Often, physicians have to resort to trial and error. The top 3 inflammatory arthritis treatments are methotrexate and Other Traditional DMARDs, Steroids (Corticosteroids), and NSAIDs. These medications seem to manage the condition well.
DMARDs work by subduing the immune system in a bid to stop or slow inflammation caused by inflammatory arthritis. The generic names for the most common DMARDs are methotrexate (Rheumatrex), Leflunomide, Azathioprine, Sulfasalazine, and Hydroxychloroquine. These medications are taken weekly, alone or as a combination of several drugs. DMARDs are quite effective for a lot of patients with inflammatory arthritis — they are also used to treat some cancers. They don’t just ease the pain; they stop the damage caused by the arthritis. Methotrexate is one of the most commonly prescribed DMARD for inflammatory arthritis patients. If you are newly diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis, it’s very likely that the first medication your doctor prescribes is methotrexate. Methotrexate relieves pain by switching off the underlying inflammation. Most DMARDs are available over the counter (OTC) for inflammatory arthritis patients.
Steroids (corticosteroids) can also be used to treat inflammatory arthritis. Prednisone, a fast-acting steroid is a common inflammatory arthritis medication. Prednisone, as a medication for inflammatory arthritis, is especially useful in the initial treatment of the condition. That’s usually the first 12 weeks of treatment before other inflammatory arthritis medications take effect. That’s because Prednisone is a fast-acting steroid and can be injected into the affected joints with little or no side effects at all. The fact that steroids can be injected directly into the affected joints without side effects is their biggest advantage as a medication for inflammatory arthritis. The downside, however, is that their effectiveness diminishes over time which is not a problem because steroids aren’t intended for long-term use. Prednisone and other steroids (corticosteroids) must be prescribed by a doctor.
NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, can also be used to treat the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins and other body chemicals associated with pain and inflammation. More specifically, these inflammatory arthritis medications relieve pain and inflammation by blocking an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX). For patients with inflammatory arthritis or other types of arthritis, reducing inflammation is a big step towards being able to manage the condition. Usually, NSAIDs are taken in combination with other medications, for instance, DMARDs. There are many types of NSAIDs available with or without a prescription. The most common NSAIDs prescribed for inflammatory arthritis patients are Naproxen (Aleve), Ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), and Celecoxib (Celebrex).