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Prescription Medications

Prescription medications are an available treatment option to help manage arthritis symptoms. Talk to your doctor about them to see what may be best for you.

Acetaminophen
At higher doses, acetaminophen is available only by prescription. As with the over-the-counter version, prescription acetaminophen helps relieve arthritis pain but does not reduce inflammation.

NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Prescription NSAIDs are often recommended by doctors to treat arthritis symptoms.

Narcotic Painkillers
Narcotics relieve pain by targeting pain receptors on nerve cells. But they do not reduce inflammation. Some are prescribed for short-term use because of the potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Corticosteroids
These anti-inflammatory agents may be injected into the affected joints to temporarily relieve osteoarthritis pain. They are not recommended for more than 2 to 4 treatments per year. These can also be taken orally for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Hyaluronic Acid Substitutes
This treatment is approved only for osteoarthritis of the knee. It is given in a series of 3 to 5 injections and is designed to replace the component of the joint involved in the joint’s lubrication and nutrition.

Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been shown to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as slow the progression of the disease. In most cases, once a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is confirmed, a DMARD is started.

Everyone responds differently to medications so only you and your doctor can decide which one is right for you. Talk to your doctor about the right treatment option for you.