heumatoid arthritis medications are very popular and common with patients suffering from various stages of the disease. Yet, are they effective and if so, how effective are they?
Are medicines necessary? Once the disease progresses beyond the initial stages, medicines are the main form of treatment for this painful, degenerative condition.
Various rheumatoid arthritis medications are available. However, not all medicines are suitable for all patients. The type of medicine used depends on the severity of each case, how fast the disease is progressing and the limitations and restrictions it causes.
This is because people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience symptoms in fits and starts. They may undergo periods of immense pain and discomfort interspersed with times when there are no symptoms at all.
In some cases, symptoms vanish once and for all but in most cases, symptoms reappear particularly when treatment is not regular.
Different rheumatoid arthritis medications work in different ways. However, early stages are almost always treated with analgesics or NSAIDs. Both help relieve the symptoms of inflammation, reduce pain and eliminate swelling. These medicines also help to increase movement and motion in patients.
Along with NSAIDs, doctors may decide to start the use of DMARDs. These are disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. These medicines can slow down joint and bone damage.
That is why these rheumatoid medications are commonly recommended for all patients suffering from this disease, even those in the early stages.
In fact, these medicines may help stop further joint damage and alleviate the severity of the disease if they are taken in early on.
Generally, doctors put patients on DMARDs even as early as within three months of diagnosis. DMARDs may be given orally or they may be given as injections.
In many cases, different kinds of DMARDs are given in combination through what is known as combination therapy.
It must be remembered that DMARDs are not very quick in their action and some of them may take up to 6 months before producing positive results. That is why rheumatoid arthritis medications have to be managed by a medical professional.
Corticosteroids are another type of rheumatoid arthritis medications. These medications are highly popular.
However, the typical attitudes towards these medicines have been changing in the last 150 years even though corticosteroids are widely used.
In fact, a survey showed that more than 11.4% of arthritic patients over the age of 54 were using corticosteroids.
This, in spite of the fact that rheumatologists often claim that they use these medicines infrequently. There is a reason for the popularity of corticosteroids.
They are injected directly into the area of pain and are very efficient in providing instant pain relief. However, these medicines are associated with several side effects if they are used over long periods of time.
Also, research shows that these medications for rheumatoid arthritis do not offer long term protection.
Medications for rheumatoid arthritis have to be used for long periods of time for them to offer desired results. Patients also have to undergo regular checkups to ensure that they are taking the right medicines.