gold sodium thiomalate - injection (cont.)
USES: This medication is used as part of a complete treatment program to treat active rheumatoid arthritis, including non-drug therapies (e.g., rest, physical therapy). It is used to treat patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded to or cannot take other medications.Gold sodium thiomalate is not a true pain reliever, but it is thought to decrease pain that occurs with arthritis by decreasing inflammation. It is known as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). It decreases morning stiffness and pain/swelling in joints and can increase grip strength.
HOW TO USE: This medicine is injected into a muscle by a healthcare professional, usually in the buttock. You will need to lie down during your injection and for 10 minutes afterward to lower the risk of side effects such as dizziness. You will be monitored for 15 minutes after your injection. When you begin therapy, injections are usually given once a week or as directed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Injections are usually given once a week until improvement occurs or you have received a total of 1 gram. Once improvement occurs, your doctor may decrease your injections to once every 2-3 weeks or less. If your arthritis worsens, your doctor may order weekly injections again.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Keep all medical appointments.If you are changing over from penicillamine, you will usually need to wait 1 month after stopping the penicillamine before starting gold injections. Ask your doctor for more details.Some decrease in morning stiffness is usually seen in 6-8 weeks. It may take several months of therapy before you see the full benefits of this medication.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also How to Use section.Flushing, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and sweating may occur soon after the injection. Increased joint pain may occur 1-2 days after your injection. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: eye redness/pain, fainting, hair loss, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations), numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizure.This medication may cause mouth/lip/throat sores (stomatitis). Tell your doctor if you notice a metallic taste in your mouth. This could be the first sign of stomatitis.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: difficult/painful breathing, signs of low blood count (e.g., fast/pounding heartbeat, pale skin, unusual tiredness), easy bleeding/bruising, black/bloody stools, persistent cough, severe diarrhea, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), gray/blue skin color, severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, change in the amount/color of urine, vaginal itching/sores, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes/skin.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), rash, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.Skin rash is common with this medication and can be serious. Itching is often the first sign of a severe allergic reaction. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any rash or itching.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
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