Posted on March 29, 2011, under Arthritis.
MEDICATIONS FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA): CORTICOSTEROIDSCorticosteroid medications, better known as cortisone or steroids, are useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a variety of other conditions such as asthma and allergies. There are several types of corticosteroids in current use. The steroids used illegally by athletes to gain extra strength differ vastly from the cortisone injected into a joint to provide relief from inflammation.What steroids and cortisone do have in common is chemical makeup. In fact, corticosteroid medications, which are artificially manufactured, also resemble the body’s own natural hormones in chemical makeup. Cortisone and hydrocortisone are two such hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal gland. These hormones have a protective function: when a person suffers any kind of stress, the levels of these hormones increase to help the person cope physically with the particular situation.When medications resembling the body’s natural cortisone are taken in larger amounts than the body normally produces, inflammation is markedly decreased. For this reason, corticosteroid medications can be an important part of the treatment of RA.*103/209/5*