Common name: Rayuma (Tag.)
Arthritis generally refers to any disease - that causes pain, inflammation, and damage to the joints and connective tissues. Arthritic joints can cause chronic pain or permanent disability.
FORMS OF ARTHRITIS
- Gout - joints are painful and inflamed due to uric acid crystal deposits in the joints.
- Osteoarthritis - characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the neck, lower back, knees, hips, and/or fingers. The disease is also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis - chronic, autoimmune disease, is the most crippling form of arthritis. This chronic disease is characterized by painful and stiff joints on both sides of the body that may become enlarged and deformed.
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) - type of arthritis that affects the spine. The disease causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain.
- Fibromyalgia - not truly a form of arthritis; it is a chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body, accompanied by fatigue.
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis(JRA) - usually occurs in ages 15 and younger; causes inflammation and stiffness of joints for more than six weeks. The disease can affect bone development.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - the cornerstone of drug therapy for all types of arthritis by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. Nausea, abdominal pain, stomatitis are common side effects experienced with NSAID use.
- Corticosteroids - for severe cases of pain and inflammation. GI bleeding, hypertension, increased risk of infections are some side effects associated with steroid use. Oral contraceptives increase the effects of corticosteroids while antibiotics (macrolides, azole anti-fungals) may inhibit their metabolism.
- DMARDs (Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) slow down the biological processes that are the driving force behind persistent inflammation. Frequent laboratory monitoring helps control the risk of side effects. Gold compounds, hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, azathioprine and penicillamine are the most commonly prescribed DMARDs.
- Biologic response modifiers
Precautions when taking NSAIDs:
Patients with history of GI disease, reduced renal function, in geriatric patients, in patients on anticoagulant therapy, in compromised cardiac function, in hypertension, in conditions predisposing to fluid retention and in the presence of existing controlled infection.
Avoid in asthmatics who are sensitive to aspirin because they may trigger bronchospasm and respiratory failure.
Avoid alcohol, excessive amounts of vitamin C, or salicylate-containing foods (e.g., curry powder, prunes, raisins, tea, or licorice), other prescription or OTC medications containing aspirin or salicylate, or other NSAIDs without consulting prescriber.
Regular NSAID use may hamper aspirin prevention of first heart attacks.
Use in pregnancy increases risk of pulmonary hypertension in newborns.
Risk of stomach bleeding in those who consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day.