Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is systematic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints, tissues and other body parts. Its treatment is nothing but managing pain and restricting it from any further complication. RA is incurable in nature, so doctors have two primary things to do as for treatment. They provide some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to reduce swelling, pain, and some other symptoms also. There are several factors on which treatment of RA depends, like age, sex, occupation of the patient, and lifestyle. If diagnosed early, then periodical checkups like blood tests and X-rays can provide a patient with some good results, by reducing any further damage to the joints. The treatment of RA basically requires medicines, physical therapies, physical exercises, asteroids, and some emotional support for the patient to in order to recover from their sufferings. There must be some awareness in the family members of the patient about the disease. One must remember that RA symptoms should not be ignored, as this may lead to deformity of the joints and can cause unbearable pain.
Family members play a vital role to encourage the patient to lead a healthy and active life by providing a moral support. They must help the patient to reduce stress on joints, care to do regular exercise, have medicines on time, and enroll for some occupational and physical therapies, if required. If there is no co-ordination between the patient, family, and the doctor, it is quite impossible to get relieve from RA’s treatment in a well planned manner.
Medications for RA
For the treatment of RA, generally three types of drugs are used by the doctors. They are non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and corticosteroids. NSAIDs are given in a primary stage of RA, for inflammation and pain. If pain persists, doctors switch over to DMARDs for further treatment and may also use both of them. Corticosteroids injections are directly pushed into the joints of the patients to get immediate relief, if the patient is suffering from unbearable pain and inflammation.
There are some currently available DMARDs like Sulfaslazines (azulfidine), Methotrexale (rheumatrex), Leflunomide (arava), Rituximab (rituxan), etc.
Some tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers like Adalimumab (humira), Etanercept (enbrel), are some medicines that reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the joints. But consuming these medicines may cause some side effects like infection and some types of cancers.
There are some factors that should be taken care of like physical exercise, therapies, yoga, occupational therapies, and proper rest are very important factors which helps RA patients to treat more effectively and it restricts them from further complication.