Arthritis Medications (cont.)
Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes. There are numerous preparations of corticosteroids including oral tablets, capsules, liquids, topical creams and gels, inhalers and eye drops, and injectable and intravenous solutions.
Dosage requirements of corticosteroids vary among individuals and the diseases being treated. In general, the lowest possible effective dose is used. Corticosteroids given in multiple doses throughout the day are more effective, but also more toxic, than if the same total dose is given once daily, or every other day.
Gout Medications: There are three aspects to the medication treatment of gout. First, pain relievers such as TYLENOL or other more potent analgesics are used to manage pain. Secondly, anti-inflammatory agents such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), colchicine, and corticosteroids are used to decrease joint inflammation. Finally, medications are considered for managing the underlying metabolic derangement that causes high blood levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) and leads to gout attacks and kidney stones.
NSAIDS: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are medications that reduce inflammation and do not contain cortisone-related compounds.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed medications for the inflammation of arthritis and other body tissues, such as in tendinitis and bursitis. Examples of NSAIDs include ASPIRIN, indomethacin (INDOCIN), ibuprofen (MOTRIN), naproxen (NAPROSYN), piroxicam (FELDENE), and nabumetone (RELAFEN). The major side effects of NSAIDs are related to the gastrointestinal system. Some 10%-50% of patients are unable to tolerate NSAID treatment because of side effects, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, and upset stomach. Approximately 15% of patients on long-term NSAID treatment develop ulceration of the stomach and duodenum. Even though many of these patients with ulcers do not have symptoms and are unaware of their ulcers, they are at risk of developing serious ulcer complications such as bleeding or perforation of the stomach.
NSAIDs are taken regularly by approximately 33 million Americans!