The choice of medication depends on several factors. The severity of your disease, the type of joint involved, and any coexisting medical conditions. Since this is a chronic disease, you need to be on a long-term medications to adequately control the disease and prevent long-term joint damage and fusion. Overall, the medications are relatively safe, but require close monitoring to avoid any major side effects. Hence, a regular follow up with a rheumatologist is essential to identify any side effects early. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, Naproxen, Mobic, and indomethacin are a group of medications used to treat mild symptoms. They are available over the counter, but you need to take at a higher dose. Continuous use of this class of medication is known to improve your joint pain symptoms. Other groups of medications called disease modifying antirheumatic medications, also called DMARDs, could be helpful if you have a predominantly painful arthritis, such as affecting your hips, shoulders, and other joints.
These two medications in this class includes methotrexate and sulfasalazine. Newer group of medication called as biologics are very effective in controlling the disease and preventing long-term joint damage. They work through different immune pathways and reduce inflammation. One such group of medication is called anti TNF. A TNF is a chemical mediator that cause inflammation. By blocking the function of this molecule, help decrease inflammation and hence reduce your symptoms. There are several FDA approved anti TNF medications. These includes Enbrel, Humira, infliximab, Cinzia, and Simponi. There is another group of biologic medication called IL 17 inhibitors. The IL 17 molecule is involved in inflammation and cause joint pain. Cosentyx and Taltz are the two FDA approved medication in this class. Medication blocking the function of other immune pathways called IL 12, IL 23 are also effective in controlling the disease. Stelara is one of the medication in this class. In general, all of these medication decrease the inflammation, working on different immune pathways.