Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
There is no cure for
rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment and management of this disease is based on the person’s overall health, age, and
severity of the disease.
A treatment plan will include pharmaceuticals to
treat the inflammation, pain, and minimize the damage to the joint.
or more of the following drugs may be prescribed.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, are used
to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Minor cases of rheumatoid arthritis can be treated
with over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
A prescription can be obtained for stronger
Corticosteroids, prednisone and methylprednisolone, are used to treat acute flare
symptoms. They are typically used on a short-term basis.
Immunosuppressants are taken to
calm the immune system. Azathioprine, cyclosporine, and cyclophosphamide are examples or
DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti
rheumatic drugs are shown to reduce the advancement of rheumatoid arthritis and prevent
irreversible damage to the joints.
- Methotrexate, leflunomide, minocycline,
hydroxychloroquine, and sulfasalazine are all DMARDs.
- Potential side effects with this medication
are suppression of the bone marrow, lung infections, and liver damage.
necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors, TNF-alpha inhibitors, reduce the
stiffness, pain, and inflammation of the joints by blocking this inflammatory factor produced by the body.
TNF-alpha inhibitors include Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade.
There are serious side effects associated with this
medication that include lymphoma, blood disorders, congestive heart failure, and demyelinating diseases.
In addition to medications, physical and occupational therapy are used to manage the
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
will encourage full range-of-motion and maintain strength and stability of the joint.
- Occupational therapists teach new methods of
performing routine activities to minimize stress to painful joints.
Studies have shown
that some alternative
treatments have provided relief for people suffering
The practice of Tai chi combines gentle stretches, gentle
exercises, and deep breathing to develop joint strength and
Supplements such as fish oil, thunder god vine root, and plant
oils derived from the seeds of black currant, borage, and evening primrose have shown anti-inflammatory
As with any supplement, it is crucial to consult a healthcare
provider to avoid adverse drug interactions.