What do doctors prescribe for arthritis?

Ah, arthritis. That dreaded condition that plagues everyone from grandmas to athletes. You know you’re getting old when you start feeling those creaky joints and unbearable stiffness in the morning.

But fear not, dear reader! The medical community has your back (or rather, your joints) when it comes to treating arthritis. In this article, we’ll explore the different medications that doctors prescribe for this achy condition.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

The first line of defense!

NSAIDs are a class of drugs that reduce inflammation and pain without using steroids. They’re commonly used for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because they work by blocking COX enzymes that cause inflammation.

Some popular NSAIDs include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Aspirin

These medications come in both over-the-counter and prescription-strength varieties depending on the dosage needed. For patients with mild symptoms, an OTC version might suffice while severe cases will require a higher dosage available only through prescription.

Side effects can include stomach upset or bleeding, so always follow instructions carefully!


That one uncle who always gives unsolicited advice… but works wonders sometimes

Corticosteroids are man-made versions of cortisol – a naturally occurring hormone released during stressful situations – which makes them powerful weapons against inflammation.

They often provide quick relief which is why doctors use them as short term solutions for people experiencing more intense flare-ups. A lot of times these types of drugs take time before actually working however if used incorrectly corticosteroids can have nasty side effects including weight gain/loss (we all hate it) , difficulty sleeping (you better learn some new lullabies) high blood pressure(ugh,), mood swings(easy on us please) etc..

Some common prescriptions include:

  • Prednisone
  • Dexamethasone

These can be administered in pill form, topical creams or gels as well as injections!

Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

The Preventive Ones

DMARD is a name that has been given to drugs used to slow the rate of joint damage from seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. (Big word alert) Rheumatoid Arthritis affects over 1 million people worldwide and there are several types of DMARDs available within this category.

Some commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Methotrexate: This often-recommended drug helps reduce inflammation by first suppressing the immune system which allows it function more effectively and also slows down cell growth.
    -( Please take note that Methotrexate can have serious side effects on your kidneys–>-> dont play with me please!)

  • Leflunomide

  • Sulfasalazine

Most patients do not experience any noticeable differences for at least six weeks but when they eventually do see improves these anti-inflammatories tend to work quite well (whew! finally) .

Side effects might vary depending on how you react but some general ones include hair loss, upset stomach and flu-like symptoms(when side effects try me 😔).

Biologics & Biosimilars


These advanced treatment options often make use of genetic engineering technology where humans create a new version of an antibody/ ‘a cloned’ protein designed purely to target areas surrounding the affected joints with fewer risks than steroids, chemotherapy etc. different biologic therapies offer various methods however ultimately all revolve around attacking structures responsible for causing inflammation while preserving healthy tissues.The catch however? These bad boys tend to come at a higher price point than others

Common prescriptions within this range include:

Etanercept(A biological response modifier), Adalimumab, Infliximab and Anakinra

Biosimilar options include:

  • Etanercept-szzs
  • Adalimumab (Hyrimoz)
  • Infliximab-dyyb

Biologics might be recommended alongside DMARD treatments so as to target all underlying causes of arthritis for better long-term efficacy.


In a nutshell, Arthritis can tell us that we are all human. Nevertheless the population can rest easy knowing that their doctor has access to an array of treatment medication at his/her disposal-these medications have been developed with years of research , studies and patients who do not mind playing guinea pig.. This makes it possible for someone struggling from the condition’s pain to find relief provided they do not flout instructions irresponsibly (We take health seriously!). Sometimes medication alone won’t suffice therefore acknowledging healthy lifestyle practices like regular exercise,lifting weights increase often helps manage symptoms making life livable again!

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