Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
JAK Inhibitors and RA
Glucocorticoids and RA
Glucocorticoids: These very potent agents rapidly block inflammation and other immune responses. They are often called steroids. These agents all work in the same way; they differ only in their potency and in the form in which they are given. Steroids may be given as pills, intravenously, or as injections into a muscle or directly into a joint. In high doses, they can cause many serious side effects and are therefore given only for the shortest possible periods and at the lowest doses possible for the condition. These drugs generally tapered and not stopped abruptly.
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 9/11/2017
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