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There is a subset of DMARDs called biologic response modifiers . These drugs target specific parts of the immune system that trigger inflammation. One might target and block TNF inhibitors or the activation of T cells, which all plays a role in causing inflammation in the joints. By blocking specific steps in the process, these drugs prevent the entire immune response from being wiped out and vulnerable at once. This greatly reduces the risk of infection. Biologic agents are typically prescribed along with other medications to effectively fight RA symptoms.
Most of the medications used for rheumatoid arthritis provide relief from pain. However, depending on current disease activity, some may be more effective than others. For acute flare -ups, for example, short-term treatment with a corticosteroid , such as prednisone, may be highly beneficial. If there is excessive inflammation, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory can address that symptoms and also relieve pain. Over-the-counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen, may be used for minor pain. But for chronic, moderate-to-severe pain, an opioid analgesic would be more effective. Pain and inflammation are both addressed by biological drugs which have the added benefit of altering disease activity.