Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications
COX-2 Inhibitor NSAIDs
Like traditional NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors block COX-2, an enzyme in the body that stimulates an inflammatory response. Unlike traditional NSAIDs, however, they do not block the action of COX-1, an enzyme that protects the stomach lining.
Side effects of these medicines can include stomach irritation, ulceration, and bleeding. People with any of the following should use these ankylosing spondylitis medications with caution:
- A history of bleeding or ulcers
- Decreased kidney function
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Doctor supervision is recommended before taking a COX-2 inhibitor, especially if you have had:
- A heart attack
- Blood clot
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Sensitivity to aspirin or other NSAIDs.
CorticosteroidsCorticosteroids are not used as often for ankylosing spondylitis as for other types of arthritis. If used, they are typically given as an injection to relieve inflammation and reduce swelling.
Prior to taking any corticosteroid, let your healthcare provider know if you have one of the following:
- A fungal infection
- A history of tuberculosis
- An underactive thyroid
- Herpes simplex of the eye
- High blood pressure
- Stomach ulcers.
Corticosteroids used as medications for ankylosing spondylitis may include:
- Methylprednisolone (Depo-Medrol®, Medrol®)
Improvements in symptoms are usually seen quickly -- often within several hours after administration -- but could take up to 24 hours. There is the potential for serious side effects, especially when taking high doses of these medicines.