Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)
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Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Analgesics for RA
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs reduce swelling and pain but do not stop joint damage and alone are not sufficient to treat rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs work by blocking an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) that promotes inflammation. There are at least two forms of the enzyme: COX-1 and COX-2. Some people with a history of stomach ulcers or liver problems should not take these drugs. This group includes aspirin, although aspirin is rarely used in rheumatoid arthritis because it is not as safe as other agents.
Analgesics: These medicines reduce pain but do not affect swelling or joint destruction.
For more information on these medications, see Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/21/2016
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