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Rheumatology Medications

A number of types of drugs are used to treat arthritis and connective tissue disease. These generally fall into the following groups:

Rheumatology Medications FAQs

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Corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisolone etc) are very effective anti-inflammatory drugs. If used in high doses or for long periods, however, they can cause serious side effects such as thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes mellitus. They can also cause fluid retention and increase your risk of infection. In tablet form steroids are usually used in low doses and for short periods only; if higher doses are required additional drugs called bisphosphonates may also be prescribed to minimise bone loss and increase bone density. Steroids may also be given as a single injection into a muscle, for example to settle a flare of arthritis. They can also be injected directly into an inflamed joint, usually after injection of a local anaesthetic, and can also be given intravenously, via a 'drip' into a vein in the arm.

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