Let’s talk about Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (NSAIDS)!
NSAIDs decrease inflammation, and in turn, decrease pain. They don’t work for everyone, but odds are that you have tried these somewhere along your journey with auto-immunty, joint pain, and inflammation. They all have mild analgesic properties, which means they make you not feel the pain.
These do not treat RA, slow or stop joint erosion, or affect the progression of autoimmunity in any way.
Some people have a very mild disease, and pain control is all they need. These are ideal. Some others need these in combination with other, more aggressive medication treatment options, to slow the progression of their disease.
NSAIDs are not recommended in pregnancy; however, I have crossed paths with medical providers that are experts in autoimmunity in pregnancy, and some do not discourage the safe use of NSAIDs in the 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Medications in this class include:
- Meloxicam [Prescription only]
- Diclofenac [Prescription only]
- Celebrex (COX-2 inhibitor) [Prescription only]
This class of medications inhibits the production of prostaglandins by blocking cyclooxygenase enzymes. Prostaglandins mediate inflammation but they also regulate stomach acid, maintain kidney circulation, and keep your platelets sticky.
Some people need higher doses of these medications to control their pain.
This class of medication takes a few weeks to take full affect, but can start providing relief sooner.
Most common side effects with NSAIDs are stomach upset, GERD, disturbance in renal function, and increased blood pressure.
Everyone has an opinion… But everyone with inflammation, joint pain, and uncontrolled auto immunity should start with this class of mediation and go from there. If these work for you, that’s great news! It’s a cheap, easy, and accessible way to manage your pain!
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