Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis

There are many treatments that can help you feel and function better with ankylosing spondylitis. These treatments include medications to help ease pain and inflammation and surgeries to help you move better. Your goal is to manage your AS so you can live an active life.

Medications to Fight Pain: NSAIDS

Your first step to treat AS will be taking drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help relieve your inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling. Still, NSAIDs do not treat the problems with your immune system when you have AS. These problems cause damage to your joints and bones.

NSAIDs used to treat AS pain and stiffness include:

  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Zorvolex)
  • Ibuprofen ( Advil, Motrin)
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Meloxicam (Mobic)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)

Most NSAIDs are available in generic forms. Some, like ibuprofen and naproxen, are available over the counter in drugstores.

Unfortunately, NSAIDs can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke. They can also break down the barriers that protect your stomach. This can cause an upset stomach and heartburn. In time, NSAIDs can even cause ulcers even if you don’t have symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine to protect your stomach. Celecoxib is an NSAID that may ease inflammation without hurting your stomach.

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