The Use of Sulfasalazine for Treating Arthritis

Sulfasalazine has long been thought of as one of the most effective ways to deal with arthritis. It falls within the DMARD category of disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs. They help to deal with the condition through dampening the disease process. This is different from the other programs where the condition is effectively managed as an ongoing irritant to the patient. In other words, the alternative treatments tend to focus on the management of symptoms rather than dealing with the underlying condition. In some ways this is a short term strategy that will not improve the quality of life for the patient on a long term basis. However it may be the only pragmatic choice that is open to the physicians handling the case. The drug is given in the form of Salazopyrin EN tablets. These tablets are coated so that they do not dissolve too quickly once they are in the stomach. This method for taking Sulfasalazine might reduce the incidence of stomach upsets following the medication.

The prescription process for Sulfasalazine

This type of medication is prescribed in order to limit the impact of the various symptoms that can affect the patient.  It is also effective in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. The medication is given in the form of a tablet which should be taken with a glass of water. Do not crash or attempt to chew the Sulfasalazine tablets because that might harm your digestive system. The medication is done on the basis of a progression starting with the low dosage and then working up to the correct level depending on the condition of the patient.  The standard dosage is a five hundred milligram tablet that is taken daily. The normal course of the initial phase of the treatment is four weeks but it might be extended if the circumstances are right for such an extension. It would also be possible to take two tablets a day as long as the active ingredients have been adjusted accordingly. Sulfasalazine is an effective treatment but the patient will require some monitoring.

This medication does not work immediately and is therefore associated with treatment for a chronic condition. The patient has to wait for the full impact of the medication to take place. This normally occurs within about twelve weeks. Some patients have reported nausea upon taking Sulfasalazine while others suffer from diarrhea and stomach pain. You could experience dizziness and rashes. Headache is another side effect that is common amongst patients. These side effects will be intensive in the first three months of the treatment but may subside as the body gets used to the new regime. If the symptoms become very serious then it might be a good idea to inform your physician so that they can take corrective measures accordingly. Sulfasalazine affects the blood count and therefore you should get help if there are indications that your immune system is compromised. Some of these symptoms include fever and a sore throat. Other patients will suffer from unexplained bruising and other signs of an infection.

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