NSAIDs, Steroids, and Joint Inflammation

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question:
When a patient with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease has an adverse reaction to the NSAIDs, what can they use instead of the steroids to reduce joint inflammation and control pain?

Doctor's Response:
There are many possible adverse reactions to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some of these are serious, but many are minor. As a result, there might be alternative NSAIDs that could be tried for relief of the joint symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). Furthermore, even in patients with some of the serious gastrointestinal complications, such as previous bleeding from NSAIDs, is a newer NSAIDs called a Cox-2 inhibitor (celecoxib, Celebrex) that might be options. Cortisone medications, such as prednisone and prednisolone are options as well, as you mentioned. Additional options for the relief of joint pain (but not inflammation) include pain-relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol,Panadol), tramadol (Ultram), and narcotic analgesics.

Obviously, each individual's situation is unique and all options must be discussed with and managed by the treating doctor for each patient to determine the proper course of action.

Thank you for your question.

Author: William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR
Editor: Leslie J. Schoenfield, M.D., Ph.D.

Last Editorial Review: 9/26/2001 8:10:00 AM

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