What is the role of NSAIDs in the treatment of reactive arthritis (ReA)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The choice of a specific NSAID depends on the individual response to treatment. Phenylbutazone may work in patients refractive to other NSAIDs. These agents should be used regularly to achieve a good anti-inflammatory effect. Patients must be instructed on compliance and the possible need to adjust the dosage or switch to another agent. Treatment must be continued for 1 month at maximum dosage before effectiveness can be fully evaluated.

NSAIDs may reduce the intensity and the frequency of recurrences of ocular inflammation and allow a decrease in the corticosteroid dosage, which helps decrease the chances of cataract formation and other associated corticosteroid effects.

The decreased awareness of pain sometimes seen with the use of NSAIDs may alter the patient’s recognition of recurrences. Patients should be examined whenever any change in symptoms occurs to evaluate for recurrence of an acute episode of inflammation. Ocular involvement may parallel systemic and joint disease relapses.


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