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Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis question ask of Rusty on 02/19/08

Hi im 52 was diagnosed in my mid twenties i have been on indomethocin 75mg slow release for all that time.
I was told i have a mild form but as i get older the pain is more severe my doctor has told me there is very little that can be done so ends up giving me stronger pain killers.
I live in England and have heard of new drugs coming to this country from America please could you tell me what i can try so i can ask my GP if i can have them.
Thank you for your time in reading this and i await your reply.


Answer to Davids Ankylosing spondylitis question.


Sorry to hear about your condition.

Your doctor is simply wrong. There are other treatments available to you. One of the problems is that you are seeing a GP. The first thing you need to do is ask for a referral to a Rheumatologist. Most General Practitioners are not trained to manage Ankylosing spondylitis. A Rheumatologist will be familiar with all the treatments available in the UK.

There are two families of drugs for you to consider. Unfortunately they do not come with out side effects. These drugs properly managed should be able to help relieve the pain and be relatively safe.

Here are the two types of drugs.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Your doctor may prescribe a DMARD, such as sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) or methotrexate (Rheumatrex), to treat inflamed joints of the legs and arms and other tissues. This class of drugs helps limit the amount of joint damage that occurs.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. Doctors originally used TNF blockers to treat rheumatoid arthritis. TNF is a cytokine, or cell protein, that acts as an inflammatory agent in rheumatoid arthritis. TNF blockers target or block this protein and can help reduce pain. Note that these drugs are limited in their use in the UK. See article below.

Access to TNF-Blockers Severely Limited in UK

Here is a good article about treatment options.

I hope this information is helpful.



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