Reactive Arthritis: 6 Treatments to Consider
After an infectious disease, there is an uncommon inflammatory arthritis called reactive arthritis.
Reactive arthritis (ReA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis triggered by an infection in your body. Bacteria and viruses can cause ReA. A bladder cancer treatment called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) may cause ReA in
This type of arthritis is uncommon, yet genetic factors can affect your risk.
Reactive arthritis begins within 4 weeks after a digestive, genital, or bladder
You may experience it as well.
- Red eyes.
- There are sores in the mouth.
- There are blisters on the penis.
- an irritated urinary tract
- There are red areas on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
- brittle and cracked nails
There is no cure for ReA. The symptoms can go into a state of remission and not require treatment. Treatments for arthritis can help. A doctor may suggest different treatments.
Because ReA attacks joints with inflammation, antibiotics won’t treat ReA once it has started. Yet an antibiotic can help clear up the bacterial infection in your urinary, genital, or digestive system that triggered the attack.
The antibiotic you take will depend on the kind of bacterial infection you have. A recent clinical review published in 2021 notes that if the bacteria The name of the disease is chlamydia trachomatis. is the cause of illness, the primary treatment of ReA will be antibiotics.
ReA can include infections caused bybacteria.
- The name of the disease is chlamydia trachomatis.
- There is a strain ofSalmonella
- The name of the plant is Yersinia.
- Campylobacter is a type ofbacter.
A doctor may need to run tests to find out which one is present.
ReA can be caused by viral infections but they will not be treated with antibiotics.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve pain and inflammation from ReA. They are the primary treatment for ReA. Over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs include:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
“If these don’t work, your doctor may prescribe different sufentanil.”
- diclofenac is a drug.
- indomethacin (Indocin)
- celecoxib (Celebrex)
NSAIDs can cause side effects, including stomach bleeding, so always take them with food. A doctor or pharmacist can help you evaluate any risks.
NSAIDs may not be enough to control the inflammation. A doctor may prescribe steroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone.
These can be taken by mouth or injected.
Steroids help to suppress your immune system and relieve pain. Steroids can have side effects that can last a long time.
To treat reactive arthritis that lasts longer than 6 months, a doctor may prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as:
- sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
- azathioprine (Imuran)
DMARDs can help with pain and inflammation. In addition, because arthritis damages joints over time, taking DMARDs can help protect your joints from damage.
Using DMARDs for reactive arthritis is considered off-label drug usage. The Food and Drug Administration approves drugs for specific purposes researched in clinical trials.
The drug can be used for non-FDA approved purposes, called off-label use, if the guidelines of published, peer-reviewed studies and standards of care are followed.
Because of the effects of the drugs, you might become susceptible to infections that people can fight off.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-blockers are another off-label treatment option for reactive arthritis. TNF is a protein formed in your body’s inflammation process. TNF-blockers stop this protein’s action, relieving pain and stiffness and helping swollen or tender joints, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
The drugs used to treat ReA can include:
- etanercept (Enbrel)
- infliximab (Remicade)
- adalimumab (Humira)
“If one doesn’t help, another might. Like the drugs, theblockers can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections.”
Exercise can be added to medication therapy and help improve your joint function. A physical therapist can guide you through
Strengthening the muscles around your joints helps. Flexibility can be improved by range-of-motion exercises. Water exercise may be a good way to exercise.
Heat and cold therapy can supplement medication treatment. Heat can reduce pain and soreness, while cold can help decrease swelling.
Joint pain, bladder irritation, and conjunctivitis are symptoms of reactive arthritis.
Bladder symptoms include burning sensations when urinating or needing to urinate more often. Conjunctivitis looks like swollen eyes with redness, itching, burning, or discharge.
If you develop these problems at the same time, you should see a doctor.
Even though no treatment can cure arthritis, it can be treated to reduce pain and damage. Talk to a doctor about your treatment plan.
ReA is a type of arthritis that begins after an infection.
Your joints may become swollen. You may also experience other symptoms such as red eyes.
There is no cure for ReA. NSAID treatment is used to reduce inflammation. It may involve antibiotics for an underlying disease. Depending on how you respond to the treatments, a doctor may recommend other therapies.