Cyclosporine and Other Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines

Cyclosporine
This medication was first used in organ transplantation to prevent rejection. It is used in patients who have not responded to other medications.
 
Side effects can include bleeding, tender, or enlarged gums; high blood pressure; an increase in hair growth; kidney problems; or trembling and shaking of hands.
 
Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have one of the following: sensitivity to castor oil (if receiving the medication by injection), liver or kidney disease, an active infection, or high blood pressure. Using this medication may make you more susceptible to infections and certain cancers.
 
Do not take live vaccines while on this medication.
 
Hydroxychloroquine
It may take several months to notice the benefits of this medication, which include reducing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Side effects can include: diarrhea, eye problems (rare), headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and abdominal pain (or stomach pain) or pain.
 
Doctor monitoring is important, particularly if you have an allergy to any anti-malarial medication or a retinal abnormality.
 
Gold Sodium Thiomalate
This was one of the first DMARDs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Side effects can include: redness or soreness of tongue; swelling or bleeding gums; skin rash or itching; ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, or throat; and irritation on tongue. Joint pain may also occur for one or two days after injection.
 
Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following: lupus, skin rash, kidney disease, or colitis. Periodic urine and blood tests are needed to check for side effects.
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Information About Rheumatoid Arthritis

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