For the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and ailments, there are a variety of orthopaedic medications available to relieve oneself of pain. Orthopaedic physicians mostly prescribe three classes of drugs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), corticosteroids and anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS). Approved by the FDA, these orthopaedic medications are safe. However, a prolonged use of these drugs can lead to a number of unwanted side effects and may pose some risks.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
This class of drugs are in most common use. Among these aspirin, ibuprofen abd naproxen groups are available over the counter. For other NSAIDS, prescription from an orthopaedic doctor is essential. Majorly available in pill form, these NSAIDS include drugs like diclofenac, etorolac, flurbiprofen, ketoprofen, oxaprozin, piroxicam, nimesulide and etoricoxib. Orthopaedic physicians prefer to prescribe one of these anti-inflammatory drugs at one time.
NSAIDs drugs help provide interim relief to patients. These drugs are beneficial in reducing inflammation, pain and fever. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines can provide you relief for a temporary period but they are not meant to cure the ailments that lie underneath.
Corticosteroid class of drugs are prescribed to treat serious ailments like rheumatoid arthritis. Corticosteroids bear similarity with the adrenal cortex hormones. These medication not only help to relieve inflammation and provide energy but also assist tissue repair in the body. Like NSAIDs, these drugs are also associated with a number of side effects and risks.
Orthopaedic doctors usually prescribe corticosteroid medications including cortisone, prednisone, prednisolone and methylprednisolone. Corticosteroids can be given to individuals in a number of ways – orally, through an intravenous needle or by injecting it directly into the inflammed tissues. The doctor may also prescribe Corticosteroid cream to be rubbed on skin. Cautious monitoring is required while using Corticosteroids. Though these category of anti-inflammatory drugs provide instant relief against inflammation, they are at the same time highly toxic.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
Unlike the NSAIDs and corticosteroids that relieve pain and inflammation, DMARDs affect the underlying disease. These orthopaedic drugs are known to decelerate the course of joint diseases. They do not completely cure the ailment though. In many patients, the use of DMARDs can provide relief for a span of a few months or years, after which the symptoms are restored.