Rheumatic diseases are a broader term for some autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that affect the human body. These diseases mainly affect your joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Statistics are showing that around 7 million people in the United States are suffering from rheumatic diseases and 300,000 of them are children.
Common symptoms of rheumatology diseases include pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, malaise, weight loss, and fever. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common rheumatic disease that affects humans. Recent studies have found that specific genes have a role to play in many of the rheumatic diseases.
The treatment of rheumatic diseases mainly aims at reducing pain and inflammation. Some medications of rheumatic diseases manage the symptoms of the condition, while others slow down the progression of the disease.
Medications Used In Rheumatic Pain Treatment
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs)
These are the most common drugs used in the treatment of rheumatology diseases. NSAIDs are effective in both long-term and short-term management of several rheumatology diseases. These medications are very effective in relieving pain. In addition to that, they block the activity of the cyclooxygenase enzyme that may lead to inflammation. Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and COX-2 inhibitors are some of the most common NSAIDs.
One of the main aims of the treatment of rheumatic disease is alleviating pain. Pain treatment is an important part of the medication regimen. The pain relief may be the long-term treatment plan if other symptoms of the disease cannot be fully resolved. Non-narcotic analgesics like acetaminophen are widely used as a long-term medication for the pain caused by rheumatic diseases.
Narcotic analgesics are mainly used when non-narcotic analgesics cannot resolve the severe pain caused by rheumatic diseases. Codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. are some of the most common narcotic analgesics. Also known as opioids, narcotic analgesics should not be used without any supervision. The long-term use of narcotic analgesics may lead to addiction. Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, and drowsiness are some of the side effects of narcotic analgesics.
Corticosteroids are widely used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases because this class of drugs is very effective in reducing inflammation and suppress your immune system. Corticosteroids can be taken orally, intravenously, or injected directly into the affected region of the body. Cortisone, betamethasone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, and prednisone are some of the most common corticosteroids. The short-term use of corticosteroids can cause side effects like weight gain, increased appetite, fluid retention, etc.
Above shared are some of the most common medications used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.