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Role of Drugs in Treatment of Arthritis

The use of drugs is an important component of treatment of arthritis, although this is only part of the treatment of these diseases. The success of treatment depends on several factors, including the way of life. At the moment there is no means of guaranteeing cure, so the drugs can only help to cope with the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment of arthritis depends not only on the successful operations of a physician, but also on the patient. Trusting relationship with your doctor, regular medications, adherence to other recommendations can significantly improve the quality of life.

Finding the most effective and safe treatment for arthritis usually takes some time. The most common drugs are selected by trial and error. So when the doctor prescribes medication, it must inform the principal about it, to tell what effect, and when to expect what the side effects.

It should be possible to learn more about prescribed drugs. Better check with your doctor is not only about the possible side effects, but also about how long it takes before the medication will affect what happens if I miss taking the drug, does the action of drugs and alcohol ingestion, etc.

The main groups of drugs used to treat arthritis:

- Painkillers;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
- Cyclooxygenase-2;
- Glucocorticosteroids;
- Preparations of basic therapy of rheumatic diseases;
- Immunomodulatory drugs.

Painkillers (analgesics)

These drugs relieve or ease pain, but do not fight with inflammation, in contrast to NSAIDs. Most often they are prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other non-inflammatory, but painful form of arthritis. Some of them are sold without a prescription. But in any case, these drugs should be used only after consulting your doctor.

Such preparations may contain acetaminophen, codeine, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or a combination of these substances. When used properly, these medications often experience side effects. Aspirin, however, can cause pain in the stomach (acetylsalicylic acid also refers to NSAIDs), codeine, nausea and constipation. Do not exceed the recommended dose of a doctor, do not use the drug over a long period of time without consulting your doctor.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are used to reduce pain and inflammation, swelling, stiffness of joints associated with arthritis, and constitute the largest and most widely used group of drugs for the treatment of arthritis. They effectively relieve these symptoms, but do not slow down the process of joint destruction and have no effect on disease progression.

NSAIDs block the release of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances associated with the development of inflammation and pain. The main side effects of these drugs is erosive and ulcerative lesions of the stomach. Therefore, they should always be taken with food or a glass of milk. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe additional medicines to reduce the effects of NSAIDs on the stomach.

If NSAIDs are effective, then within a week after the start of you should feel pain relief and increased joint mobility. The effectiveness of different drugs from the NSAID group about the same, but the reaction indiviualnaya patients on different medications, so patients often believe that a drug is significantly more effective than another of the same group. Therefore, it may be necessary to compare several different drugs in this group before selecting the most suitable.

Inhibitors of cyclooxygenase 2 is a separate group of NSAIDs are less likely occurrence of gastric ulcers.

Glucocorticosteroids (GCS)

GCS play an important role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.

Injections of corticosteroids into joints is carried out for the rapid removal of inflammation and pain and restore mobility. Small doses of corticosteroids usually do not cause serious side effects.

Doctors sometimes prescribe oral corticosteroids for the relief of acute symptoms of arthritis. With the improvement of the patient's condition gradually reduce the dose.

Adverse effects with prolonged use

GCS have dangerous side effects, especially when used for a long time. These include osteoporosis, cataracts and glaucoma worsening of symptoms and dysfunction of the adrenal glands.

To prevent side effects, various specially designed scheme of corticosteroids in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.

It should not be abruptly canceled the SCS.

Preparations of the basic treatment of rheumatic diseases

These standard treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are widely used to prevent joint destruction in arthritis and to treat other rheumatic diseases such as lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and Sjogren's syndrome.

Unlike NSAIDs, drugs of this group can suppress the development of rheumatoid arthritis, but does not affect the symptoms are. It may take from 3 to 6 months before they get better. Therefore, drugs commonly used basic therapy with NSAIDs or corticosteroids.

Selection of these drugs requires some time, because sometimes necessary to test the effectiveness of different drugs in this group to achieve a noticeable improvement.

Keep in mind that they can also cause serious side effects, such as deterioration of immunity and the defeat of the gastrointestinal tract.

In normal tolerability of basic therapy is essential to sustain fully the initial period of therapy, even if the first few weeks no visible improvement. If there is improvement, treatment may continue for several years.

Pregnancy and drugs are the basic treatment of rheumatic diseases

Some drugs in this group may harm the fetus and disrupt its normal development, so women should use effective contraception. Be sure to consult your doctor about methods of contraception, as it is likely that these drugs may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

When planning pregnancy should be consulted and may require a change in therapy. Drugs can also affect male fertility.

Immunomodulatory drugs

These drugs are used for treatment of severe forms of arthritis, in which other drugs are ineffective.

The choice of drugs

The choice of drug depends primarily on the severity of arthritis, the presence of other concomitant diseases, the need to take other drugs and the risk of side effects.