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All Posts Tagged: medication

Prescription Medication for Arthritis

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Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans. Characterized by inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, arthritis symptoms can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. There are several types of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the break down of cartilage surrounding joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints. Gout, infections, psoriasis, lupus, and other diseases can also lead to forms of arthritis. Arthritis symptoms include: swelling, pain, varying degrees of stiffness, limited range of motion, and skin redness. Treatment is available in the form of prescription medications to relieve symptoms and improve joint performance. Below are the major categories of prescription medications for arthritis:

– Analgesics

– NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

– Narcotic Painkillers

– Corticosteroids – Prednisone

– Hyaluronic Acid Substitutes

– Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

Analgesics relieve pain, but do not treat inflammation. Acetaminophen is the most commonly used analgesic and can be purchased over-the-counter in the from of Tylenol and Excedrin. Higher dosage acetaminophen in combination with other other drugs such as Oxycodone or Tramadol require a prescription. Brands names for analgesics: Codeine, Ultram, etc.

NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and reduce fever. There are three sub-groups of NSAIDs: traditional NSAIDs (Mobic/meloxicam), COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex/celecoxib), and salicylates (choline magnesium salicylate). Prescription NSAIDs block COX enzymes that produce prostaglandin, the cause of joint inflammation.

Narcotic Painkillers relieve severe pain and are often combined with acetaminophen or NSAIDs to enhance the drug’s properties. They do not treat inflammation. Brands names for narcotic painkillers: Vicodin, Lorcet, codeine, etc.

Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can be taken in tablet form to treat rheumatoid arthritis or injected into the joints to relieve osteoarthritis pain. Prednisone the most commonly prescribed corticosteroid, brand names include: Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, etc.

Hyaluronic Acid injections are specifically approved for osteoarthritis in the knees. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body as a component of synovial fluid, lubricant that allows joints to easily glide against one another. Replacement of lost hyaluronic acid helps relieve joint pain and stiffness.  Brand names of hyaluronic acid: Euflexxa, Hyalgan, Orthovisc, etc.

Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) act on the immune system to slow the progression and damage of rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate is the most commonly prescribed DMARD and the most effective. Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is given for milder symptoms.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Arthritis Home Care New York

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Over the Counter Medication for Arthritis

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Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints that affects approximately 50 million Americans. There are more than 100 conditions involving swelling and pain in the joints and the tissues around the joints that fall under the descriptive umbrella of arthritis. Two main kinds of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – are the most prevalent. These two forms of arthritis have similar symptoms, although they have different causes. Osteoarthritis often occurs in the hands, knees, and hip joints, while rheumatoid arthritis most commonly appears in the wrists and hands. While arthritis is most prevalent in seniors aged 65 and older, arthritis can affect people of all ages, from all walks of life. In addition to pain, arthritis can affect mobility and compromise the ability to perform certain tasks. Despite the challenges associated with arthritis, there are a number of over the counter medications available to help sufferers reduce pain, improve mobility, and promote quality of life.

Topical treatments such as creams and sprays, which are applied directly to the skin over the affected joints and work by relieving pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to reduce osteoarthritis, pain in the joints. Avoid acetaminophen if you have liver problems. Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, relieves mild pain and is the active ingredient in several brands including Bayer, Excedrin, etc. If you have ulcers, a history of bleeding problems, or anticipate having surgery soon, you should not take aspirin. NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) work by relieving both pain and inflammation of the joints. The only two NSAIDs available OTC are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn). The most common side effects of NSAIDs include: heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Do not use NSAIDs if you are allergic to aspirin or similar drugs. While all of these treatments are available without a prescription, it is advisable to discuss any drug with your doctor before taking it. Your physician will determine the risks and benefits of each treatment approach, and find the best medication to suit your needs.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Arthritis Home Care New York

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Mitigating the Effects of Alzheimer’s Through Drug and Non-Drug Approaches

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There is currently no known treatment, medial or non-medical, that can reverse or cure Alzheimer’s. However, a combination of medications and non-drug approaches can aid in managing symptoms of the disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms, cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. Although more research needs to be conducted to better understand how the drugs work, they are known for the following attributes: influencing brain chemical messaging systems, being effective on specific Alzheimer’s stages, and being ineffective for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Cholinesterase inhibitors are utilized in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. They are understood to help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine – a chemical important for brain functions such as thought, memory, and alertness. The most commonly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors are Donepezil (Aricept), Galantamine (Razadyne), and Rivastigmine (Exelon). Memantine is prescribed in later stages to help regulate a brain chemical called glutamate, which effects memory and learning. Both drugs can be beneficial in managing symptoms, but they do carry potential risks and side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, confusion, and irritability. Also, these drugs will lose their effectiveness overtime as the disease progresses due to brain cell damage. It is important to have a knowledgeable healthcare provider to prescribe the most effective medications at the proper stages.

In addition to medication, there are several behavioral and environmental practices that can be very helpful for people with Alzheimer’s. Maintaining a consistent routine, a healthy diet, regular exercise, an active social life, and adjusting communication styles are all ways in which you can increase your loved one’s quality of life. A comfortable physical environment free of clutter, loud noises, and visual distractions such as mirrors and televisions will also aid in reducing external confusion. As a caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient, it’s essential to remain flexible, open-minded, and empathetic as you adjust to the changes and challenges the disease brings.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Alzheimer Home Care New York

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