Rheumatology Drugs

The following is some information on the types of medication you may be prescribed by your GP following your appointment with your Rheumatologist. If you have questions about your medication see the Frequently asked Questions section which may answer your query. If you need further advice see the Advice Line Section.

You can follow each link for further details.


Painkillers and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS):

These medications are used to help with arthritis pains and stiffness symptoms. drugs/painkillers-and-nsaids


These medications are used to dampen down excessive inflammation. They can treat joint pains, swelling and stiffness.  They can be given as tablets or injections.  They can potential cause side effects which will be explained if they are prescribed for you.drugs/steroids

Disease modifying drugs (DMARDS):

These medications are used to dampen down the excess activity of the immune system which is responsible for many types of arthritis. If they are prescribed for you we will discuss the medication and safety precautions in detail with you.  They can potentially cause side effects and usually require monitoring of blood tests. anti-rheumatic-drugs-dmards/

Biologic Drugs:

The drugs specifically target chemicals in the immune system in order to reduce excessive inflammation. They can be extremely effective at controlling arthritis that has not been controlled with DMARDS.  They are not suitable for everyone and they can potentially cause side effects.  If they are prescribed for you, the medication and safety precautions will be explained in detail.  You will be closely monitored at clinic.  Most of these drugs are given by self-injection or as drip at the rheumatology unit.

Biologic medications can reduce your ability to fight infections. You should omit these medications and seek medical assessment if you have infection symptoms. disease-modifying-anti-rheumatic-drugs-dmards/

Osteoporosis medications:

Patients with osteoporosis are usually prescribed calcium & vitamin D supplements.  Some patients will also be prescribed additional medications to improve bone strength eg bisphosphonates, denosumab or teriparatide.  bisphosphonates

Gout Medications:

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood. Changes to diet and lifestyle often improve gout.  Sometimes medications are prescribed to treat gout flares and reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood.






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