Font Size
A
A
A
...
14
...

Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Analgesics

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 agents reduce pain but do not affect swelling or joint destruction.

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Feverall, Tempra): This drug is often used by people who cannot take NSAIDs because of hypersensitivity, ulcers, liver problems, or interactions with other drugs.
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Opioids: These drugs may be used to treat moderately severe to severe pain that is not relieved by other analgesics.

For more information on these medications, see Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications.

Must Read Articles Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis
Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Causes include injury, abnormal metabolism (such as gout), inheritance (such as in osteoarthritis), infections (such as...learn more >>
Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain Chronic pain is pain that persists for a period of six months or longer, and is the result of a long-standing medical condition(s) or damage to the body. Common...learn more >>
Iritis
Iritis The iris is a circular, pigmented membrane that provides the eye its color and forms the pupil of the eye. The iris is made up of muscular fibers that control ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatment

What treatment was effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Medications

What medications have been effective at treating your rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Rheumatoid Arthritis »

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease of unknown cause that primarily affects the peripheral joints in a symmetric pattern.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary