Help Your Arthritis Treatment Work
Ease the Pain, Help Prevent More Damage
Arthritis can strike at any age. It hurts the joints,
where two bones meet. It damages the joints and makes them stiff
and painful. Sometimes it's so bad it can cripple a person.
Correct treatment can ease the pain and help prevent more damage.
You can help your treatment work. This booklet tells how.
If Your Joints Have Signs of Arthritis, Talk To Your Doctor
If you have arthritis, the doctor may prescribe a medicine
for you or tell you to use a medicine you buy without a prescription,
You may need to take more than one medicine.
Joints With Arthritis May Have:
Before Taking New Medicine, Ask Your Doctor About It
- How should I take this medicine?
- Are there any special instructions?
- What side effects could there be?
- If I have any side effects, what should I do?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
If you took the medicine before and it caused problems, tell
Tell the doctor if you are taking other medicines. And ask if
you should keep taking them.
Read the Label Of Medicine You Buy Without a Prescription
Like arthritis medicine, many medicines for headaches
or colds or flu have pain killers in them. Some common pain killers
are aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen.
So before you buy any medicine, read the label to see what's in it.
Does it have a pain killer? If it does, ask your doctor or pharmacist
if it's OK for you to take it.
Be Careful With Medicine
- Never take any medicine for arthritis without your doctor's advice.
- Never take someone else's medicine.
- Keep all medicine away from children.
- Throw out medicine that reaches its "Discard" or "Exp" (expiration) date.
Remember: There can be problems with any medicine, even
those you can buy without a prescription.
Rest and Exercise
You may need extra rest when your arthritis gets worse,
or flares up. But even then, it's good to gently exercise the
joints that hurt.
Gentle exercise can ease the pain and help you sleep better.
Ask your doctor how to exercise your joints.
Learn About Your Arthritis
It helps to learn about your arthritis. Many people do
this by joining a group with other people who have the disease.
To find a group, look in the newspaper. Or ask your doctor or
the hospital. The local Arthritis Foundation office has information,
Remember: Never take someone else's medicine.
Watch Our for 'Cures' That Don't Work
Some people with arthritis can't find any treatment that
helps very much. That's why there are so many ads for gadgets,
health foods, and supplements to treat arthritis.
Many of these have never been tested. They're just a waste of
Protect Yourself With the Facts
Pain and stiffness often come and go by themselves, for no
known reason. You may use an untested product and
then feel better. But you may have felt better even without the
There is no cure for arthritis. But correct treatment
can ease pain and stiffness.
If you use worthless products, you delay real help. So
the damage gets worse.
Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably
What If Correct Treatment Doesn't Help?
If all else fails, an operation might help. Talk about
this with your doctor
Do You Have More Questions About an Arthritis Treatment?
Ask your doctor or other health-care worker.
And ask FDA. There may be an FDA office near you. Look for their
number in the blue pages of the phone book.
You can also contact FDA through its toll-free number, 1-888-INFO-FDA
Or call the Arthritis Foundation's toll-free number, 1-800-283-7800.