Dr Sanjeev Patel (BM DM FRCP) Consultant Physician & Rheumatologist
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Common Drugs
Common Drugs that I prescribe
General Comments

There are many drugs that doctors recommend for the treatment of arthritis. The drugs vary according to the type of arthritis that the patient suffers from and its severity.

When you see Dr Patel a discussion about the balance of benefit and risk will always take place if any of these drugs are recommended to treat your illness.

These are drugs such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). They are used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. They need to be taken weekly on a empty stomach with tap water.


This is a drug often used to treat inflammatory arthritis particularly in patients with SLE

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Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

These are aspirin based drugs that are widely used for the treatment of pain and inflammation. Examples include diclofenac, naproxen and indomethacin.

This is a very effective drug that is used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriaritic arthritis and lupus

Methotrexate has to be started by a specialist and must be taken exactly as directed by the specialist. In particular it is important to note that it must be taken every week. It is also important to take the correct number of milligrams per week rather than rely on just counting the number of tablets (as the different doses of tablets can look similar). Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor treatment. A careful explanation of how to take methotrexate will be given to you if this drug is used to treat your arthritis.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) for osteoporosis

This is an anabolic drug therapy for severe osteoporosis

This is a drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis as well as inflammatory bowel disease. Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor treatment.

Prednisolone and other steroids are very helfpul to suppress inflammation and reduce pain. They work quickly and are useful for short-term treatment. They are also used (usually in low doses) for long term treatment. If steroids are recommended to treat your condition a full discussion will take place as to why they are being used and how to reduce some of the side effects (e.g. osteoporosis)
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