A Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
Going to a reliable rheumatologist for your pain and inflammation concerns with your rheumatoid arthritis is essential. When it comes to your condition, you can choose from several rheumatoid arthritis treatment options. Even until now, there is still no proven cure for this condition that affects your joints. So that you will not suffer from further damage to your joints and even deformity, you can increase your joint function with proper remedies and medication with the guidance from your rheumatologist. Here are some of the rheumatoid arthritis treatment options for you that you need to know.
There are two medication classes that you can choose from if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. You have the first-line and the second-line drugs. Some examples of first-line drugs include cortisone and aspirin that are quick at responding to any symptoms of the disease. They are effective in reducing pain and inflammation. For patients who want to avoid using steroids as treatment, they choose to get those without steroid content. As much as possible, rheumatoid arthritis patients try different drugs for until they find the right one for them. Usually, your rheumatologist will choose a particular first-line drug for you that gives you the least amount in terms of side effects.
The stronger first-line drugs that your rheumatologist will give you will be corticosteroids that are injected or are in oral type. While you can expect enhanced joint function and mobility with these drugs, you can also suffer from certain side effects. You just have to be careful with using these drugs for a long time and in high doses because issues may start rising with the likes of muscle wasting, weight gain, and facial puffiness.
Unlike first-line drugs, second-line drugs are slower in terms of their action. Gold, hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate are some examples of these drugs. The use of this type of drug is often common for patients that need remission from the disease and prevention of progressive joint damage. They cannot provide you with any anti-inflammatory results. Rheumatologists often go for methotrexate as the drug of choice for very aggressive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis using second-line drugs. For second-line drugs, they come in both oral and injection variants.
As last resort in terms of medication for rheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressive drugs are most commonly used. This is usually being used for the aggressive type of rheumatoid arthritis.
It would be best for patients of rheumatoid arthritis to get surgery when they now have a severe joint deformity. For the most part, you get surgery when your rheumatoid arthritis has caused your joints to be damaged. You need the services of an orthopedic surgeon that would help do an arthroscopy procedure for you. If your joint needs replacement like your hip or knee, your damaged tissue might need replacing with metal. Just make sure that you seek advice from your rheumatologist first.