As a painful autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis attacks the body’s tissue and damages a variety of body systems, not just your joints. This chronic inflammatory disorder is incredibly painful and can result in bone deformity and swelling in the joints, leaving many patients wondering, “Can rheumatoid arthritis be cured?”
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Cured?
Unfortunately, because rheumatoid arthritis irreparably damages your body’s tissues, it can’t be completely cured. There are many treatment options available for RA patients, ranging from medications to therapy to surgery.
Pharmaceutical companies are researching an alternative cure for rheumatoid arthritis using clinical trials.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are numerous treatment options for varying stages of the disease. Patients suffering from RA use medications, numerous therapies, and even undergo surgery to treat this aching, chronic disease.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs, such as Advil, Aleve, and prescription NSAIDS such as Celebrex, are the first line of defense against rheumatoid arthritis and are commonly prescribed to treat inflammation in the joints.
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin B, etc.)
- Naproxen Sodium (Aleve, etc.)
- Prescription NSAIDs (Celecoxib, Feneprofen, etc.)
Steroids reduce swelling, alleviate joint pain, and slow the damage caused by RA. Steroids are commonly used as a short-term treatment because the side effects can include weight gain, bone deterioration, and diabetes. Prednisone is the most common steroid used for RA.
- Hydrocortisone (A-Hydrocort, Cortef)
- Prednisone (Deltasone, Sterapred, etc.)
- Conventional Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS)
DMARDs help slow the development of RA and can keep joints from facing damage.
- Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
- Leflunonomide (Arava)
- Methotrexate (Trexall, Otrexup, etc.)
- Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
- Targeted Synthetic DMARDS
Targeted synthetic DMARDS are typically used if a patient is resistant to conventional treatments.
- Baricitinib (Olumiant)
- Tofacitinib (Xelijanz)
- Upadacitinib (Rinvoq)
- Biologic Response Modifiers
- Abatacept (Orencia)
- Adalimumab (Humira)
- Entanercept (Enbrel)
- Rituximab (Rituxan)
- Sarilumab (Kevzara)
In addition to medication, most RA patients go through different types of therapy to treat their disease. Physical or occupational therapists guide RA patients through exercises that alleviate pressure and keep joints flexible.
When medications and therapy fail to prevent severe damage or decrease pain, your doctor may advise surgery to restore joint function and reduce pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis procedures include:
- Tendon repair
- Joint fusion
- Total joint replacement
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pharmaceutical Companies Clinical Trials
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects more than 1.5 million Americans each year, and researchers all over the country are working to solve the mystery that is RA. Scientists, doctors, and researchers have teamed up to perform clinical trials and gather the information they need to work toward a cure and new treatment options.
Learn More About RA and Clinical Trials
So, can rheumatoid arthritis be cured? Well, not quite. But researchers are working tirelessly to find an alternative cure for rheumatoid arthritis. The clinical trials available provide invaluable information that assists the scientific community in advancing treatments and finding a cure for rheumatoid arthritis.
At Advanced Rheumatology of Houston, we are dedicated to providing personal, quality care to all our patients. If you’re suffering from RA, give us a call at (281) 766-7886. We’re ready to help alleviate your pain.