Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drugs for arthritis: the good and the bad

Oral medications are often used to manage the symptoms of shoulder arthritis. While drugs such as Enbrel or Humira can modify the course of rheumatoid arthritis, there is little evidence that medications can change the course of osteoarthritis, chondrolysis, or capsulorrhaphy arthropathy, the commonest forms of shoulder arthritis.

The most common medications used for the symptoms of shoulder arthritis are basic pain relievers and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications). Taking these medications is not without risks -some of which are substantial - such as the increased risk of heart attack and stroke, bleeding, ulcers, interactions with alcohol, interactions with other medications (including blood thinners, heart medications, blood pressure medications, seizure medications, antibiotics and over the counter medications), kidney failure, liver failure, pregnancy or breast feeding problems, dizziness, vision changes, allergic reactions and increased risk of surgery.

I've listed some of the more commonly used drugs below. If you click on the name of the drug, it will take you to the National Library of Medicine Public Health site that tells you of the potential side effects and risks of the medication. If you are taking or considering taking any of these medications, you may wish to review the material the government has provided.

Tylenol (also a part of many compound drugs)

The Arthritis Foundation has a useful drug guide.


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You may be interested in some of our most visited web pages including: shoulder arthritis, total shoulder, ream and runreverse total shoulderCTA arthroplasty, and rotator cuff surgery.