Illustration of rheumatoid arthritis of a knee joint
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is when the body’s defense system malfunctions and begins to mistakenly attack itself. In RA, white blood cells, which normally fight infection, attack the lining of a joint causing inflammation (swelling). This inflammation leads to a release of proteins that thicken the joint lining. The proteins can also damage the cartilage, bone tendons, and ligaments near the joint, eventually destroying the joint itself.
Quick facts about RA
- Typically, RA affects the smaller joints first, such as the ones in your hands and feet, and then may move on to other joints.
- RA is 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men and can start developing as early as age 20.
- In addition to symptoms of swelling and pain, RA can cause fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
Symptoms of RA
Like OA, the primary symptom of RA is pain felt in and around the joints. In addition to pain, other symptoms of RA found in joints may include:
- Swelling of joints
- Joints that are tender to the touch
- Red and puffy joints
- Morning joint stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes but can continue for hours
RA can affect other parts of the body beyond joints. Firm bumps under the skin called rheumatoid nodules occur in 20%-30% of RA cases, often on the arms and elbows. Other parts of the body that can be affected by RA are the lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. Only your doctor can diagnose RA. You can find helpful information about talking to your doctor by going to Partnering with Your Doctor.
Causes of RA
The exact causes of RA remain unknown. Doctors think that it's probably the result of a complex combination of factors, ranging from viruses and family medical history to lifestyle choices like smoking.
Treatment of RA
While there's no cure for RA, there are ways to relieve its symptoms and slow or prevent joint damage. One way is to adopt an integrated approach to pain management that includes anti-inflammatory pain relievers like NSAIDs, a healthy diet, exercise, and various other treatment options.
In clinical studies, CELEBREX demonstrated significant reduction in joint tenderness/pain and joint swelling.
Learn more about CELEBREX.
CELEBREX is indicated for the relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and for the management of acute pain in adults.
Important Safety Information
All prescription NSAIDs, like CELEBREX, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. They may all increase the chance of heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors for it, such as high blood pressure or when NSAIDs are taken for long periods.
CELEBREX should not be used right before or after certain heart surgeries.
Serious skin reactions, or stomach and intestine problems such as bleeding and ulcers, can occur without warning and may cause death. Patients taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers.
Tell your doctor if you have:
* A history of ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines
* High blood pressure or heart failure
* Kidney or liver problems
CELEBREX should not be taken in late pregnancy.
Do not take CELEBREX if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or you’ve had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin, any other NSAID medicine or certain drugs called sulfonamides.
Life threatening allergic reactions can occur with CELEBREX. Get help right away if you’ve had swelling of the face or throat or trouble breathing.
Prescription CELEBREX should be used exactly as prescribed at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time needed.