Different types of medications to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cannot be fought without any medication. So it becomes necessary to understand what kinds of medication and medicines are available for slowing down RA. Rheumatoid arthritis is basically a disease which affects the joints due to inflammation. Since this condition progresses rapidly, it is essential that medication is started as soon as the diagnosis is done.

With the change in time, doctors have also changed their approach towards the prescription of medicines for rheumatoid arthritis. Earlier, they used to prescribe mild drugs for the same. But now, the prescriptions include slightly stronger drugs to give maximum relief, so that people can face busy routines of their packed schedules. This is because now they have realized that getting relief as soon as possible is essential.

Common rheumatoid arthritis medicines:

  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologic response modifiers (a type of DMARD)
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Analgesics (painkillers)

DMARDs are the medications which are usually recommended by the doctor in the initial stages after the diagnosis. These drugs can be used in combination with other medicines as well. They directly attack the immune system so as to prevent inflammation. However, since the immune system is getting affected, the patient needs to watch out for any signs of infection. Plaquenil, Arava, Rheumatrex, Trexall, and Xeljanz are some of the brands of DMARDs. The precautions taken while consuming each one of them must be kept in mind. Biologic response modifiers are used to slow down the process of inflammation in the immune system and joint damage. Even though they are not a cure for RA, they do help slow down the damage and provide relief to symptoms. Orencia and humira are a couple of brands of biologic response modifiers. Since glucocorticoids are steroids, they are very strong, and in addition to stopping or slowing down inflammation and joint damage, they are also capable of causing other damages to the immune system. Hence, they are used for short periods only. Celestone and rayos are brands of glucocorticoids.

Usually, these medicines are used in combination with others. The side effects must always be kept in mind for maximum results. Hence, one must consult the doctor for prescribed medications.

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