The American College of Rheumatology suggests certain goals in managing rheumatoid
arthritis (RA). They are to prevent or control joint damage, prevent loss of function, and decrease pain.
Your rheumatologist should be familiar
with the approaches used to help reach these goals, including the various RA medications.
A number of RA remedies and approaches can help with these goals, including physical
and occupational therapy, exercise, and medications.
Some of these medications are used for the purpose of pain relief only (analgesics)
and others are used to reduce joint inflammation (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs, or NSAIDs, and corticosteroids).
One class of prescription medicines used to treat RA are called DMARDs or Disease-Modifying
Antirheumatic Drugs. For people with moderately to severely active RA, biologic
DMARDs (biologics) may be an option. Biologics are used to treat the pain and swelling
of RA, but some may also help prevent further joint damage. Talk with your
doctor about the risks and benefits of your treatment options.