Meds for rheumatoid arthritis

I have pain in elbow joints, legs and hands - any medication recommendations for this please


  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi @Dougs60

    Welcome to the community - it's great to meet you. Have you been able to talk your doctor as yet? They will probably want to do some tests if this is new to you in order to find out exactly what the cause of your pain is.

    Here is our information about the types of arthritis. It has sections on exercse and diet, I know these are hard to deal with when in pain but it really can help - I too have arthritis and have seen a difference when my muscles are stronger and when I have lost weight. Sadly I'm now starting back down the losing weight path!

    In the mean time you can take general over the counter medications but it's always wise to chat first with your GP or chemist to make sure you don't take too much. There are tablets and creams/gels to rub in and it's best to be careful.

    Another really good way to reduce pain is distraction. Reading a good book can be great, becoming familiar with your community and posting an update to this discussion as well as checking out the other discusssions and offering support will help you.

    Looking forward to your next comment

    Yvonne x

  • Hi @Dougs60

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I am sorry you have pain in your elbows, legs and hands due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

    Thanks to Yvonne for her helpful reply.

    Painkillers, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and steroids can help to relieve the pain caused by RA, but should not be the only treatment used.

    I’m wondering how recently you were diagnosed with RA and whether you are on DMARDS (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) to address the underlying disease yet. Although DMARDS aren’t painkillers, they'll reduce pain, swelling and stiffness over a period of weeks or months by slowing down the disease and its effects on the joints. If you are on DMARDS and these are not working to control the symptoms, you may need to request a medication review.

    We would suggest that you seek medical advice from your rheumatology team about pain relief that’s suitable for you. You are very welcome to call us on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 so you can talk things through with one of our helpline team first. We can offer tailored advice and support so that you feel clearer about what to ask your healthcare team.

    You can read more about the four main groups of medications that are used to treat RA, and about other ways to manage symptoms here:

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team