A significant portion of the human population nowadays suffers from arthritis or inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is not just a single disease but is a group of roughly more than a hundred rheumatoid diseases that usually manifest as pain in your joints. The most common signs and symptoms would be inflammation, redness, swelling and stiffening of the joints. A pain medication is usually prescribed by the physician to relieve a sudden attack.
There are several varieties of pain drugs that may be prescribed to treat arthralgia or joint pain. People diagnosed with arthritis these days have a wide variety to choose from. Some require doctor’s prescription and others are even over-the-counter drugs. It is always important to consult your physician first before taking a certain pain medicine.
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs are the most commonly recommended pain pills. They have analgesic, anti inflammatory and antipyretic properties. There are 3 major types of NSAIDS namely COX-2 selective inhibitors, your traditional NSAIDs and salicylates. COX-2 inhibitors have lesser gastrointestinal side effects compared to traditional NSAIDs. Common salicylates in the market include aspirin and celecoxib. Long term use of aspirin should be consulted to the doctor since it has blood coagulation effects that can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding.
Here are the most common NSAIDs used for arthritis:
- Aspirin/acetylsalicylic acid
- Ketoprofen/Orudis, Oruvail, Actron, Orudis KT
- Naproxen/Naprosyn, Aleve, Naprelan, Anaprox
- Ponstel/mefanamic acid
- Arthrotec/diclofenac with misoprostol
- Voltren/diclofenac sodium
- Cataflam/diclofenac potassium
- Tolectin/tolmetin sodium
- Trisilate/choline magnesium trisalicylate
- Meclomen/meclofenamate sodium
Corticosteroids help alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and swelling on the joint areas, pain in the back, etc. They include cortisone, methylprednisone and prednisones. Prednisone is preferred in treating rheumatologic disorders. Steroids can help pain relief in low dosages. This type of medication prescription also suppresses your immune system and therefore is not advisable for long term uses. The drug works by stopping the production of prostaglandins that trigger the inflammatory process in the body. They can be given orally, topically, intravenously or even applied locally to your skin. Here are some commonly used steroids for arthritis:• Cortisone/Cortone
- Budesonide/Entocort EC
Analgesics are perhaps one of the most popular pain relievers. They manage pain control by interfering pain signals from reaching the pain receptors in the brain. It is divided into 2 major groups namely your narcotic and non-narcotic analgesics. Narcotic analgesics would include your opiates and its derivatives, which are the opioids. Opioids are generally regarded as strong analgesics. Their dosage has to be gradually increased from time to time to avoid tolerance to some fatal side effects like respiratory depression. Common drug adverse effects include drowsiness, possible addiction and withdrawal syndromes.
This class includes the following drugs:
- Morphine Sulfate/MS Contin
- Talwin NX/Pentazocine/Naloxone
No matter what medication prescription you are using right now, it is always best to check with your doctor from time to time.