Medications are very effective and commonly used to treat the disease. There are various types of medications, which are depended on the severity of the disease, how it affects and how rapidly it is progressing.

Medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis are very beneficial to:

  • Reduce severe pain
  • Reduce inflammation joints and signs of joint inflammation include tenderness, loss of motion and swelling.
  • Prevent permanent disability.
  • Prevent deformity or delay significant joint damage
  • Improve daily function.
  • Improve quality of life.

A medication is also known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Now these medications are recommended by the health care providers to prevent joint destruction. These medications are also called by slow-acting antirheumatic drugs by some people. These medications can help prevent the significant joint damage. If DMARDs treatment use for long term period, it may sustain the benefit of disease control.

DMARDs may divide into two general categories like Synthetic DMARDs and Biological DMARDs, which are based on how they work. Synthetic DMARDs may interfere with the producing of immune cells, which are developing joint inflammation. These medications can be taken orally by patients.

Synthetic DMARDs commonly include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide
  • Antimalarial medications
  • Sulfasalazine

Less commonly used synthetic DMARDs

  • Penicillamine
  • Minocycline
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Azathioprine

Biological DMARDs neutralize proteins made by immune cells that help to develop joint inflammation. Biological DMARDs are taken by injection. A new group of this category is known as TNF inhibitors, is very effective to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The effects of tumor necrosis factor (a protein which increases inflammation) are reduced by these medications. TNF inhibitors may be taken in combination with other category DMARDs or alone to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Biological DMARDs

  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept
  • Anakinra

Medications can be used with other treatments. This is know as combination therapy and usually uses to treat the disease. Combination therapy may use to reduce the higher risk of side effects that can develop due to higher doses. Recently, studies have shown that combination therapy is very effective to reduce the signs and symptoms of the disease, prevent and control it from getting worse.

Medications to reduce symptoms such as stiffness, pain or swelling may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen)
  • Corticosteroids (medrol or prednisone)
  • Prescription analgesics
    • Acetaminophen with hydrocodone
    • Acetaminophen with codeine
    • Propoxyphene
    • Tramadol
  • Nonprescription acetaminophen

What About The Choice Of Your Mattress?

It is a well known fact among physicians and therapists that how you sleep and what you sleep on affects how one progresses with arthritis. This simply means that the choice of your mattress can change how you feel. There are mattresses that are specifically made for people with chronic pains and some even use the copper infused technology which has been used for centuries to help people with arthritis. Be sure to check out our guides on the best mattress for arthritis which can help you get better sleep and even experience more chronic pain relief.

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