It’s not easy to live with arthritis. As time goes on, it becomes necessary to find new ways to deal with painful movements and accomplish daily tasks. The right medications may help slow the disease’s progression while reducing joint damage and other symptoms.
Gout (Gouty Arthritis) causes joint inflammation, severe pain, and tenderness from a buildup of uric acid crystals. Gout attacks occur most often in the toes, ankles, and knees. Tophi (large deposits of uric acid crystals) can eventually form at joints.
Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare) helps treat and prevent gout attacks by reducing swelling and lowering uric acid levels. It isn’t a pain medication.
- Possible side effects: Abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, bleeding, fatigue and more.
- Colchicine interacts with many medications including some NSAIDs, antibiotics, antifungals and blood thinners.
- Avoid grapefruit.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood and brain. Patients experience joint pain, rash, and fatigue. Medications help prevent or minimize flare-ups, moderate organ damage, and control symptoms.
Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) is a corticosteroid commonly prescribed for joint inflammation and swelling.
- Possible side effects: Heart and eye problems, acne, increased blood pressure and blood sugar, muscle weakness, the risk of infection, mood swings, insomnia and more.
- Always take with food.
- Prednisone can interact with NSAIDs, blood thinners, and other drugs.
Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. The cartilage cushioning joints breaks down until eventually, none remains.
Celecoxib (Celebrex) is a commonly prescribed NSAID for joint pain and inflammation.
- Possible side effects: Cramps, headache, nausea, and diarrhea, dizziness, high blood pressure, peptic ulcer, rash and more.
- Don’t take with other NSAIDs.
- Avoid alcohol.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease attacking joints on both sides of the body. RA can also impact eyes, heart, lungs, skin, and nerves.
Methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Rheumatrex, Trexall, Xatmep) is a DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug) designed to slow down RA and help prevent permanent joint damage.
- Possible side effects: Abdominal discomfort, fever and chills, dizziness, hair loss, itching, rash, mouth sores, liver problems, sun sensitivity and more.
- Avoid aspirin.
- Drink water.
It may take a while to find the best arthritis medications for you. Research your particular disease for diet recommendations to avoid “bad” foods that worsen symptoms. Above all, search for ways to adapt to any limitations and continue enjoying your life.