Rheumatoid Arthritis Pictures Slideshow

Medical- Medicine

Two classes of medications are used in treating rheumatoid arthritis: fast-acting “first-line drugs” and slow-acting “second-line drugs.”

What Medications Are Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Two classes of medications are used in treating rheumatoid arthritis: fast-acting “first-line drugs” and slow-acting “second-line drugs” (also referred to as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs).

The first-line drugs, such as aspirin and cortisone (corticosteroids), are used to reduce pain and inflammation.

The slow-acting second-line drugs, such as methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), promote disease remission and prevent progressive joint destruction, but they are not anti-inflammatory agents. Some newer “second-line” drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include leflunomide (Arava) and the “biologic” medications etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), anakinra (Kineret), adalimumab (Humira), rituximab (Rituxan), and abatacept (Orencia).

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