What's the Best Way to Treat Arthritis Pain?

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 02:56 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Hi, my husband has rheumatoid arthritis and is on the medication Arava. But he still has constant pain in his middle finger. Is anything else helpful for his condition?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Arava is an anti-rheumatic drug used as a second-line medication when other pharmaceutical agents are not helping. It can cause liver injury, so alcohol and certain other medications should be avoided when taking it, and it requires regular blood monitoring.
It has also been linked to serious birth defects, so be sure to discuss any plans for children you may have with your doctor. It may be prescribed alone or with other agents such as methotrexate.
Pain isolated to a single joint sometimes responds to a local cortisone injection, so seek the advice of a rheumatologist. I presume he is also taking some other form of oral pain management. If not, ask your doctor for some to treat his pain.

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