Intravenous (IV) drugs are used for treating severe arthritis that does not respond to conventional oral drug therapies.
Drugs when administered intravenously work rapidly to heal inflammation and pain of the arthritis-ridden joints.
IV Medications for Treating Arthritis
Tanezumab belongs to a class of drugs known as anti tumor necrosis factor drug. When administered intravenously it rapidly heals inflammation and pain of knee and hip affected by osteoarthritis. Researches have revealed that Tanezumab IV is superior to the popular oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen in treating osteoarthritis pain.
Possible side effects of tanezumab include swelling of the feet and hands, pain in extremity, joint pain and tingling or numbness of the skin. Treatment with tanezumab 5 mg is usually better tolerated than higher doses of the drug.
Infliximab is prescribed for treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is administered intravenously usually once in every eight weeks. By suppressing the action of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein that triggers inflammatory arthritis, infliximab reduces inflammation of the joints and arrests progression of arthritis.
Infliximab is only prescribed for people diagnosed with active arthritis flare-ups. It is not suitable for people suffering from infections, cancer, lung fibrosis, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Indigestion, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, nasal congestion or runny nose and rash are possible side effects of the drug.
Rituximab is administered through intravenous infusion. After the first dose of the drug, the second dose is given after an interval of two weeks. If the condition of the joint improves after administering the first two doses of rituximab, the next dose is given after six months.
In most cases, rituximab is taken by rheumatoid arthritis once a year. Rituximab works by eliminating B-cells, which make antibodies that attack the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Rituximab increases the risk of infections. It is unsuitable for people with breathing problems, heart diseases and very low levels of B-cell.
Abatacept treats inflammatory arthritis by suppressing activities of T-cells produced by the immune system. High levels of T-cells trigger rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Abatacept is only prescribed when the symptoms of arthritis do not respond to conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD), rituximab and anti-TNF drugs.
Abatacept is sometimes used along with a DMARD drug. It is usually taken once every month. People susceptible to infections, suffering from cancer or on a biologic or anti-TNF drug should avoid abatacept. Headache and dizziness are common side effects of the drug. By weakening the immune system, abatacept increases the risk of infections.
Indomethacin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is administered intravenously to treat severe rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gouty arthritis. Possible side effects of the drug include diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, ringing in the ears and headache.
Effects of IV Arthritis medications
In most cases, the symptoms of arthritis improve within two weeks after taking an intravenous drug. These drugs are taken at specific intervals as directed by the physician to slow down progression of arthritis. The long-term effect of intravenous drugs is still unclear. To minimize adverse effects of the treatment, intravenous arthritis medications are reserved only for treating active severe infection that cannot be treated with oral drugs.