A hundred years ago, the treatments for arthritis were primitive, mostly derived from plants, and not always effective, although they did not often have side effects.
Today’s array of drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis are simultaneously more effective and more dangerous, and side effects are more common and more severe. In spite of this, more people are taking prescription drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis that ever before, because the disease is painful and debilitating and nobody puts up with constant pain unless they have no choice.
Modern Pharmaceutical Treatments Level I
Drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (or RA) begin with the over-the-counter variety. These are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, commonly known as N-SAIDS, and they include things like Aleve and Motrin, as well as Tylenol Arthritis. There are also creams and ointments available to rub on affected spots, such as Voltaren, Rub A535, and many others. All of these may help somewhat with very mild arthritis pain, but they only treat the symptoms, not the underlying disease. The best they can do is give a person a few hours of relief from pain, and as soon as the drugs wear off, the pain comes back. They can also cause side effects such as internal bleeding, ulcers, high blood pressure, kidney damage, fluid retention, heart problems, and rashes.