Arthritis Medicines

“Medication Do’s and Don’ts..
Important Advice You
Should Not Ignore.”

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

There are many different kinds of arthritis medicines on the market.

I'll cover arthritis medicines in detail (below) but first here is some very important advice.

Know these general principles about every drug you take:

• Know both the generic and trade names of your medications

• Know why you are taking the medicine and what it can do for you and to you

• Know how to take it correctly


• Take your medicine as your physician prescribed it. Never change your dose on your own.

• Take all arthritis medicines with food unless directed otherwise. Use the sandwich technique...

1.Eat a little food

2.Take your medication

3.Eat a little more food

• Keep each medication in a labeled container

• Give your medications time to work. Find out from the physician how long each drug will probably take to start to work.

• Keep your medication out of the reach of children. Ask the pharmacist for non child proof containers if you have problems opening your medication containers.

• Always bring your medications or an up-to-date list of them when you have an appointment with the physician. Have them near the telephone if you call the physician about your condition.

• Report possible side effects or unusual reactions to your physician.

• Always tell your physician about any other drugs or supplements you are taking whether they are over the counter or drugs prescribed by another physician. This is important because of harmful interactions that can occur between medications.

• Be honest with your doctor. If you have not been taking your medication as prescribed, tell the doctor.


• Don’t stop your medication unless told to do so by your physician.

• Don’t take another person's medicines. What is right for one person may be dangerous for another.

• Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery if your medication makes you drowsy.

• Don’t mix medications in one container. This can cause you to take the wrong drug.

• Don’t let your medication run out before ordering more refills. Abruptly stopping your medicine could cause a flare of your disease.

• Don’t take old medication. Outdated medication may be ineffective- or cause bad reactions.

• Don’t expect immediate results. It may take time before you notice a difference in the way you feel.

• Don’t ever change your medication dose on your own. If one tablet is good for you, two are not necessarily better and may be dangerous.

• Don’t expect medication alone to do the job. Other things such as rest, exercise, medication, weight control, and continued medical follow up are essential to achieve adequate control of arthritis.

Anti Inflammatory Drugs A discussion of anti inflammatory drug therapy for the treatment of arthritis. While anti inflammatory drugs may be helpful for many patients, they are not a panacea and are also capable of causing many potential side effects. They should only be used with the advice of a knowledgeable physician. Anti-inflammatory drugs act by blocking the effects of prostaglandins. This effect is a two-edged sword. Blocking inflammation is one edge; potential side-effects are the other.

Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids or anti-inflammatory steroids are among the most potent inhibitors of inflammation. When used properly they are helpful. Like many other medicines though, there are potential side-effects to consider.

Anti malarials used to treat malaria long before they were used to treat arthrits, drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are a mainstay of treatment for milder forms of inflammatory arthritis.

Minocycline Antibiotic therapy for rheumatoid arthrits has long been a controversial topic. In some instances of mild disease, antibiotics such as minocycline may be effective.

Sulfasalazine Sulfasalazine, a sulfa derivative is an effective disease-modifying agent for many types of inflammatory arthritis. it is used more extensively in Europe than it is in the United States.

Methotrexate Methotrexate is the "workhorse" disease-modifying drug used for treating more serious types of inflammatory arthritis. It works by blocking the metabolism of rapidly dividing cells.

Azathioprine Azathioprine is another drug that blocks the metabolism of cells and is used as a disease-modifying agent in severe forms of inflammatory arthritis.

Gout medicines Gout is a disease that is caused by the excessive deposition of monosodium urate crystals. This problem occurs as a result of the inability of the body to get rid of uric acid, a by-product of metabolism, quickly enough.A discussion of the use of gout medicines is the topic of this page.

Leflunomide leflunomide is another anti-metabolite used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. While effective, it has been supplanted, for the most part, by the use of biologic therapy.

Cyclosporine Cyclosporine is a disease modifying drug for rheumatoid arthritis that was "borrowed" from the organ transplant surgeons. Genrally used in combination with methotrexate, its effectiveness is sometimes limited by its toxicity.

Biologics A discussion of the use of biologics- the new wave in arthritis therapy.

Arthritis medicines and the older patient A discussion of the use of arthritis medicines in older patients- what to watch for. Older patients have a slower metabolism... and they are often on more than one medication. Caution must be exercised.

Arthritis treatment medicines More tips about how to use arthritis medicines wisely.

Prednisone tapering side effects Prednisone tapering- lowering the dose- is an art. Physician skill and experience is essential to proper steroid reduction.

Dealing with side effects of prednisone Of all the anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat arthritis, no drug is as effective- or as dangerous- as prednisone. This page discusses the potential pitfalls.

Stopping the use of prednisone Prednisone discontinuation requires a thoughtful experienced approach. Improper management can be life-threatening.

Get more information about arthritis medicines as well as...

• Insider arthritis tips that help you erase the pain and fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis almost overnight!

• Devastating ammunition against low back pain... discover 9 secrets!

• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!

• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!

• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...

• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!

• And much more...

Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Return to arthritis home page.

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