7 treatment options for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Upon receiving a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many patients will be prescribed medication to help them cope with the often painful condition. The first and most accessible type of medicine prescribed to these people are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs.
As the name suggests, NSAIDs are designed to relieve the symptoms associated with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation, in this case the joints. Many NSAIDs are available without a prescription, which means that they do not even require a prescription. Examples include ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Side effects, which are usually minimal, include nausea and liver problems.
2. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD)
If a young patient who is dealing with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis needs something more powerful to combat the pain associated with this condition, your GP can prescribe disease modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARD. Examples of DMARD include methotrexate (Trexall) and sulfasalazine (bluefidine).
Sometimes, a doctor will encourage your patient to take DMARD in addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. And while DMARDs are generally more potent than NSAIDs, the side effects are quite similar: upset stomach and, if taken too much, liver problems.
3. Blockers of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
Tumor necrosis factor blockers are often prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from the effects of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This is because FNT can effectively restrict many of the symptoms associated with the condition, from stiffness in the morning hours to pain in swollen joints on the last day.
Unfortunately, tumor necrosis factor blockers have more significant side effects than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause nausea in some patients. Unlike NSAIDs, FNTs increase the chances of a patient suffering even more important health problems, including cancers such as lymphoma. For this reason, doctors can not prescribe TNF unless the case of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is considered particularly severe and painful.
4. Suppressors of the immune system
You could hardly blame someone for wondering why a doctor would prescribe drugs designed to actually suppress a person's immune system activity if they are fighting a painful condition like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. But there is a good reason why doctors resort to this type of medication: because they can effectively limit the possibility that the immune system of a patient with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis attacks healthy cells and intensifies the condition.
There are several prevalent immune system suppressors, which include abatacept (Orencia), rituximab (Rituxin), anakinra (Kineret) and tocilizumab (Actemra). Like TNFs, they do have some important potential side effects, including general cancer infection.
A much more powerful way to counteract the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis involves the use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone. Corticosteroids are often prescribed by a doctor while your patient waits for the disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to take effect.
If corticosteroid medications are prescribed, they are most likely to be used for a short time. This is because it has been shown that these drugs cause growth difficulties and increase the chances of infection. Patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who use corticosteroids will receive these medications orally or by injection into a problematic joint.
Many older adults who struggle with rheumatoid arthritis find that physical therapy can help relieve joint and muscle pain. The situation is not different for those dealing with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which affects children under 17 years: physiotherapists and occupational therapists have a variety of exercises that can improve range of motion, improve muscle tone and help Young patients overcome the restricted flexibility and reduce pain and swelling
In addition, a physiotherapist or occupational therapist can provide a child with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis with protective equipment or exercise equipment that can help him or her develop strength when at home; for example, braces for joints and splints can help protect painful joints and improve overall functionality.
Video credits to HEALTH AREA YouTube channel