Arthritis is a medical disorder involving joint inflammation. There are numerous causes of this condition including age, injury or trauma, auto-immune response of the body, hereditary factors, infection etc. This condition can be classified into many forms, however the most common forms are Osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, gout and still’s disease.
Depending upon the type you are inflicted with, the signs and symptoms may vary. Joint pains, muscle ache, fever, swelling, malaise, tenderness, difficulty in movements, weight loss muscle weakness, low flexibility are some of the common symptoms associated with all kinds of arthritis. In this feature we will explore various medications that help in relieving the symptoms of this condition.
Arthritis Relief Medications
Analgesics are basically pain relieving medicines. They come in form of topical ointments which are applied externally and are absorbed through the skin.
They are available over the counter, do not require prescriptions in majority of cases and carry low risk of insignificant side effects. Capsicin, Biofreeze, Arthicare, Zostrix, Apercreme, Distallgesic and Flexall are some of the examples of analgesics widely used for relieving the arthritic pain.
Bone Restoring Drugs
This category of drugs include intake of supplements. Calcium and Vitamin D pills are given together to fight bone loss and controlling the bone damage. Post-menopausal women are known to be at a very high risk of developing osteoporosis. To prevent the occurrence of this disease, hormonal therapy is undertaken. These are recommended with adequate amount of physical activity including mild exercises.
As the term suggests, these are the group of drugs that are used for relieving the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. The medication under this group slows down the progression of arthritis by containing the damage to bones. Different medicines under this category work in their own ways in relieving the arthritis.
Adalimumab, Golimumab and Infliximab work as TNF (Tumor Necrosis factor) inhibitor. They have side effects like congestive heart failure, infections and Lupus. Abatacept is another medicine which works as a signal obstructer. Chloroquine, Rituximab and Leflunomide are some more examples of the drugs under this category.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
These drugs work by attacking and soothing the inflammation. However, the disadvantage of this type of drugs is that they do not work by correcting the root cause of the arthritis. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are the most common type of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Persistent and continuous use of these drugs carry the risk of gastro-intestinal upset, increase the chances of heart stroke, ulcers, internal bleeding etc. COX-2 inhibitors also come under this category and are available only on prescription. Valdecoxib and calecoxib are quite popular among the arthritic patients.
Drugs that fall in this category work as anti-inflammatory as well as immune suppressant agents. As mentioned earlier arthritis is sometimes caused by immune response of the body and in such case Corticosteroids can effectively help with the arthritic symptoms.
These drugs can be administered in oral, intravenous, intra-articular ways. Dexamethasone, Prednisolone, prednisone and Triamcinolone are some examples of corticosteroids. Prolonged and excessive dosages can cause cataracts, bone thinning, fluid retention and weight gain type of side effects.