People who have long been suffering because of joint diseases such as arthritis are given a sigh of relief with newly developed medications. While these drugs do not at all promise to cure the debilitating condition, they are seen to significantly reduce pain, alleviate the symptoms and perhaps slow down the progression of arthritis.
While arthritis primarily hits the elder population, people of different age groups may still develop the disease because of a variety of factors. However old one is or whatever cause the arthritis may have come from, it can be quite a debilitating illness because of the pain and discomfort that results from it. Thus, alleviating the symptoms of arthritis is the primary concern for most patients.
Normally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, or NSAIDs are used to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. People are quite familiar with aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen which are readily available over the counter safely. The downside with such drugs, however, is that they can cause complications with the stomach such as ulcers, bleeding, and indigestion. Such drugs are also known as blood thinners which may make patients vulnerable to bleeding, high blood pressure, and fluid retention.
A special type of NSAID could be used instead, specifically those known as COX-2. They perform the same function as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis but they do not cause much complications with the stomach. Such type of arthritis drugs work by inhibiting the release of coclooxygenase, an enzyme which is seen to be involved with inflammation. The disadvantage with COX-2 inhibitors however is they still have the side effects of high blood pressure and fluid retention as other NSAIDs. Moreover, these drugs have been observed to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Another type of medicine, known as corticosteroids, is now seen to be quite helpful in reducing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. They also help control the damages caused by arthritis to joints. A lot of patients who took corticosteroids report that they felt significant relief from their arthritis. The downside with this type of drugs is that their effectiveness may diminish over time and they can also increase risks of weight gain, diabetes and reduced bone density.
Because arthritis also affects one’s immune system, immunosuppresents can be prescribed to help maintain the immune system’s balance. Failing to do so could cause the arthritis to progress in such a way that the immune system would go haywire. Additionally, TNF blockers may be used in combination with immunosuppressants for further alleviation of symptoms. These types of drugs inhibit the release of particular types of proteins that cause inflammation of the joints. Those who receive such treatment were found to have lower pain and improvement with their stiffness.
Early detection of arthritis is very important especially that there is still no known cure for the disease. However, early detection is important to help sop the disease from progressing to unmanageable levels. The medications mentioned above could greatly help patients especially those whose conditions are diagnosed early.
Those who have been diagnosed quickly can make the most of the said drugs and take advantage of the symptom alleviating effects as well as their preventive capabilities for further disease progression. They can greatly avoid further damage that can worsen anyone’s condition.
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Charlene J. Nuble
For All the things you need to know about arthritis, please go to: Arthritis Medication