Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) treatment options
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Learn about the different types
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While there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), there are treatments that can help relieve the back pain and stiffness. Some of the treatment options your doctor may consider are described below. It’s important to talk to your rheumatologist to determine which treatment option is right for you.
Often prescribed by doctors when AS first starts, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling. However, they don’t stop further joint damage. Many NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (such as Motrin®* and Advil®*) and naproxen (such as Aleve®*), are available at drug stores without a prescription. Other medications may require a prescription. Over time, many people find that NSAIDs may not be enough to provide the symptom relief they require.
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Your doctor may have prescribed a medicine called a DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug) to help treat your AS. DMARDs help stop inflammation to reduce symptoms and possible joint damage. While many people are helped by DMARDs, for others, it isn’t enough.
Some biologic medications help treat active AS by helping to relieve the back pain and stiffness caused by the disease. A biologic may be appropriate for you if your symptoms are getting worse while taking a DMARD, such as methotrexate.
Anti-TNFs (tumor necrosis factor) are a type of biologic that works by blocking the action of TNF-alpha, a protein made by your body’s immune system. In certain autoimmune diseases, such as AS, there is too much TNF-alpha. Too much TNF-alpha can cause the immune system to attack parts of the body. This can lead to back pain and stiffness.
It's important to know that blocking too much TNF-alpha can lessen your body's ability to fight infections.
SIMPONI ARIA® is an anti-TNF biologic that can:
- Help relieve the symptoms of active AS, such as back pain and stiffness
- Help improve spine mobility/range of motion