Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is a lifelong condition that has no cure. That’s why for your best health now, and in the future, it’s important to work with your health care team to have a treatment plan. A RA treatment plan can help:
- Relieve pain
- Reduce swelling
- Slow down or stop joint damage
- Improve how you feel
- Help you stay active
Finding the right treatment for you.
You may not be able to predict your exact RA future, but you can help reduce its impact on your quality of life now and later by having and sticking to a RA treatment plan. It may take some time to find the treatment that works best for you, but with the right treatment, you can start to feel better so you can live a full, active life.
Treatments for RA include:
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medications help slow the progress of RA and prevent joint damage.
- Medications to improve RA symptoms. Some over-the-counter medications can help relieve pain, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Others, like corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can reduce swelling and fever.
Use these medications only as recommended by your doctor. Your treatment may change as your RA changes.
Staying on track.
RA is a long-term condition and you may need a long-term treatment, but staying on track isn’t always easy. Remember to stick to your treatment plan to get the best outcomes because skipping or stopping treatment on your own can affect treatment goals. To help you stay healthier and on track, follow these tips:
- Stick to your treatment plan. Take your medications exactly as your doctor prescribed to get the most benefit from them. Some RA medications may take a while to begin working and you may experience side effects. Never change or stop taking your medications without talking to your rheumatologist.
- Make and keep all your doctor and lab appointments. Your rheumatologist may order blood work or other tests to check your response to treatment.
- Use medicine reminders. Set a standing alarm on your cell phone, smart phone or tablet. You can also set reminders with the CVS Specialty mobile app. Download the CVS Specialty mobile app at no cost from the Google PlayTM or Apple® iTunes® stores.
- Refill online. Refill your medications on time so you always have them handy when you need them. Visit CVSspecialty.com to manage and track all your RA prescriptions anytime, anywhere.
- Work with the entire health care team. Work closely with your rheumatologist, pharmacist, physical therapist and other providers. Stay in touch and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
CVS Specialty can help people with RA get the best outcomes from their treatment, including managing side effects and staying on track. Call us at 1-800-237-2767 to speak to a pharmacist or nurse specially trained in caring for patients with RA.