What Do Doctors Prescribe for Arthritis?

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What Do Doctors Prescribe for Arthritis?

a person with arthritis

Persistent joint pain and stiffness can be signs of arthritis. It’s an inflammatory condition that impacts more than 58.5 million adults in the United States. The condition causes stiffness, decreased range of movement, and swelling in the joints. As a result, it affects your daily routine and life.

However, there are many medicines available to help alleviate the symptoms of nearly all types of arthritis. Your medical professional will first conduct a physical exam and then prescribe you some prescriptions best suited for your pain.

Here are some common prescription drug assistances for arthritis pain.

Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

Doctors prescribe DMARDs to help decrease inflammation in arthritis patients. These medicines can affect the course of a few types of inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. Unlike other kinds of drugs that alleviate pain symptoms for a while, DMARDs can slow the progression of these types of arthritis. As a result, they are often the first line of defense against the medical condition.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Painkillers (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are the most commonly prescribed medicines for arthritis. That’s because they’re more effective in easing the symptoms of arthritis in comparison to other painkillers. They are sold over-the-counter (Advil and Aleve) and by prescription (Mobic and Celebrex).

Corticosteroids for Arthritis

These are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that medical professionals prescribe for many types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. They work to lessen inflammation by going against the body’s immune system. Patients can take them orally or through injection.

They can also result in some side effects that you might experience with long-term use including:

  1. High blood sugar
  2. Bone thinning and osteoporosis
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Cataracts

Biologics Medications

These medicines are some of the newest arthritis medications available and are made from organic molecules. They are especially used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. These medications work to block a protein in our immune system that can cause painful inflammation.

Biologics are a subset of DMARDs prescribed by doctors when they aren’t enough to help rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, they aren’t recommended for immunocompromised people as they can elevate the risk of serious infections.

Possible side-effects may include:

  1. Elevated risk of infection
  2. Fatigue
  3. Flu symptoms

Narcotics For Arthritis

Doctors can prescribe narcotics pain relievers to work on pain receptors in the brain. These medicines are only available via prescriptions to alleviate extreme pain symptoms. However, they don’t help joint inflammation.

Some side-effects include:

  1. Risk of gaining tolerance
  2. Addiction
  3. Constipation
  4. Drowsiness

a person with knee pain

If you need prescription drug assistance for arthritis medicines, consider Advocate My Meds‘ services.

Advocate My Meds is a full-service prescription assistance programs organization that offers various prescription assistance programs to patients all across the US. We offer programs for underinsured or uninsured patients to access both branded, like Glaxosmithkline patient assistance, as well as generic medicines.

Click here to check if you’re eligible for these programs.