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How is polyarthritis managed?

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Polyarthritis is a term utilized to describe arthritis that involves 5 or more joints in the body. Remember that various conditions can lead to polyarthritis that can arise as an acute or chronic issue.

The possible causes of polyarthritis include viral infections. A case due to an acute viral infection generally settles in 6 weeks. Chronic ailments such as psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis might also lead to polyarthritis. Drugs are usually given to lessen the inflammation.

Remember that various conditions can lead to polyarthritis that can arise as an acute or chronic issue.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These drugs work by blocking the action of prostaglandins which are substances that has a role in triggering inflammation. NSAIDs also lessen mild to moderate pain due to polyarthritis.

These medications work rapidly and have less toxic side effects than the stronger drugs for polyarthritis. Nevertheless, side effects such as ulcers and GI upset can occur.


Corticosteroids lessen the inflammation by suppressing the immune system. Since various conditions that trigger the condition are linked to autoimmune ailments such as systemic lupus erythematosus, corticosteroids subdue the immune response that occurs with these ailments.

The drugs are often prescribed initially in such ailments. Osteoporosis brought about by steroid-use can be prevented by bisphosphonates that are prescribed as well. Remember that corticosteroids help in reducing the discomfort and other symptoms while waiting for the other medications to take effect.


Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) work by altering the progression of various diseases that lead to the condition. Since it takes 6-8 weeks for these drugs to take effect, NSAIDs and corticosteroids are given to provide immediate relief.

DMARDS lessen the inflammation by subduing the immune system. The drug is usually given as the initial treatment for various rheumatic diseases is methotrexate.

Anti-TNF drugs

The tumor necrosis factors instigates the inflammatory response in various forms of arthritis that cause polyarthritis. The anti-TNF drugs work by blocking the tumor necrosis factor which are biological DMARDS.

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