Rheumatoid arthritis is one of 100 different types of arthritis. This disease is somewhat different as it is also considered an auto immune disease. An immune disease is caused when the bodies own immune system begins attacking itself. When a patient has rheumatoid arthritis the joints are primarily affected, but other organs of the body are also attacked. This disease progresses at a different rate with every patient, and can become so severe by deforming the bones, that a patient unable to walk, or use their hands. A proper treatment for rheumatoid arthritis has to be carried out by a rheumatologist, a specialist in this field of arthritis.
Some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include, the joints being red, swollen or warm to the touch, limited range of motion, severe pain and ability to move in the mornings. If these symptoms occur, a visit to the doctor is highly recommended.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis can vary greatly. The rheumatologist will put together a treatment plan, and this can change as the disease progresses. One class of drugs used as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is the DMAR drugs (Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic drugs). These medications are thought to slow down the progression of the disease, but may not fully put it in remission. The medications in this class of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis include, Gold shots, Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Penicillamine and Sulfasalazine. These medications have been in use for many decades, and seem very efficient for many patients.
As with any drug protocol, the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with this group of drugs is associated with some possible side effects. It is important to always discuss possible side effects with a doctor. Another group of drugs used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is a group known as Biologics. These include Enbryl, Humira and Remicade.
Often, patients with rheumatoid arthritis can end up taking a combination of drugs to help with this disease. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis can change as the condition changes. In addition to the two main groups of drugs, there are also steroids that can be used and NSAIDs(non-steroid anti inflammatory) group of medications. These can be used in conjunction with other treatment for rheumatoid arthritis to help control the joint swelling and pain.
Getting on the right treatment for rheumatoid arthritis can help patients not only feel better, but slow this progressive disease down.