Table 2

Drugs used to treat arthritis

Type of drug

Name of drug

Use


Drugs that affect symptoms of the disease (analgesics)

Acetaminophen

Aspirin

Relieves pain

Reduces inflammation and relieves pain

Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Diclofenac

Diflunisal, etodolac, fenoprofen, flurbiprofen, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, meclofenamate, mefenamic acid, meloxicam, nabumetone, naproxen, oxaprozin, phenylbutazone, piroxicam, sulindac, tolmetin

Reduces inflammation and relieves pain

All NSAIDs treat the symptoms and decrease inflammation but do not alter the course of the disease

COX-2 inhibitors

Celecoxib, valdecoxib

Reduces inflammation and relieves pain

Narcotic/analgesics

Propoxyphene

Tramadol

Relieves pain

Relieves pain

Corticosteroids

Methylprednisolone, prednisone, injectable corticosteroids

Suppresses inflammation in severe organ disease or life-threatening disease

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)a

Auranofin (oral gold), cyclosporine, gold salts (injectable), hydroxychloroquine, leflunomide, methotrexate, penicillamine, sulfasalazine

All DMARDs can slow progression of joint damage as well as gradually decrease pain and swelling

Biologics

Anti-TNF compounds

Adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, certolizumab, golimumab

Suppresses inflammation and inhibit the progress of joint damage

IL-1 inhibitor

Anakinra

Treats moderate to severe RA in people who do not respond to DMARDs

B-cell-depleting agent

Rituximab

Treats RA unresponsive to TNF inhibitors

T-cell co-stimulation antagonist

Abatacept

Treats RA unresponsive to DMARD therapy

IL-6 antagonist

Tocilizumab

Treats RA unresponsive to TNF inhibitors


COX, cyclooxygenase; DMARD, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug; IL, interleukin; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; TNF, tumor necrosis factor.

Cuzzocrea Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011 13:126   doi:10.1186/ar3434