Reactive Arthritis Treatment

A combination of exercise and medication is often used as a treatment for reactive arthritis. Drugs that are used to treat the condition include antibiotics, TNF inhibitors, and corticosteroids, among others. When introduced gradually, exercise may help improve joint function. In particular, strengthening and range-of-motion exercises help maintain or improve joint function.

How Is Reactive Arthritis Treated?

There is no cure for reactive arthritis; therefore, treatment is focused on helping relieve symptoms. In order to relieve reactive arthritis symptoms, your healthcare provider is likely to recommend one or several medicines along with exercise.

Medicines for Treating Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis can be difficult to treat, so your healthcare provider may have to try several medicines or a combination of medicines before finding out what works.
Examples of medicines that may be prescribed for reactive arthritis treatment include:
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids (either injections or topical)
  • Antibiotics
  • Immunosuppressive medicines
  • TNF inhibitors.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs reduce joint inflammation and are commonly used to treat reactive arthritis. Some NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), are available without a prescription. Others that are more effective for reactive arthritis require a prescription.
Some NSAIDs your healthcare provider may prescribe include:
Less is known about whether a new class of NSAIDs, called COX-2 inhibitors, is effective for reactive arthritis. This drug class includes celecoxib (Celebrex®).
Although NSAIDs are helpful for most people with reactive arthritis, they don't usually eliminate the pain completely. Some people do not respond at all to NSAIDs.
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Reactive Arthritis Information

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