Understanding Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications (cont.)
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Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Drugs in this class include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), ketoprofen (Orudis), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), oxaprozin (Daypro), nabumetone (Relafen), and meloxicam (Mobic).
How NSAIDs work: NSAIDs prevent the body from producing prostaglandins, which have been identified as a cause of pain and inflammation. NSAIDs prevent this by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes that are important in the formation of prostaglandins by cells. Several types of anti-inflammatory agents exist. Doctors recommend NSAIDs as the first type of medicine to try after they initially diagnose ankylosing spondylitis. Some of these drugs may be purchased without a prescription.
A newer class of NSAIDs known as COX-2 inhibitors (or COXIBs, including Celebrex) reduces the risk of gastrointestinal complications and bleeding with NSAID therapy. However, the COX-2 inhibitors have been found to have their own potential, serious side effects, including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. These risks may be present in varying degrees with all of the NSAIDs.
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The spondyloarthropathies (SpAs) are a family of related disorders that includes ankylosing spondylitis (AS), reactive arthritis (ReA; also known as Reiter syndrome [RS]), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), spondyloarthropathy associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA), and, possibly, Whipple disease and Behçet disease.