Drug treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Many of the drug treatments for AS need to be prescribed by your doctor. Not every medication will work the same for everyone, so open dialogue with your medical team is vital.

The medicines that treat AS fall into two broad groups; those that give pain control and those that are disease modifying. 

1. Pain control treatments 

Within this first group there are two main categories; 

a. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) 

NSAIDs reduce the effects of one or both types of chemicals that can cause inflammation. The signs of inflammation include pain, swelling and loss of function.

b. Steroids

Steroids (called corticosteroids) can be very effective in reducing inflammation. They are hormones that regulate a variety of functions within the body, including immune function.

Corticosteroids are strong medicines that suppress signs of inflammation including pain, swelling and loss of function.

2. Disease Modifying Treatments

Biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are among the most useful AS treatments. DMARDs work by blocking immune system messengers known as cytokines.

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