Patient Information

Patient information on conditions Patient information on treatment Other patient information


Patient information on conditions

Ankylosing Spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) predominantly affects the spine and may lead to severe stiffness of the back. This booklet aims to tell you something about the complaint and how it may affect your health and activity.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a disorder in which the blood has a tendency to clot too quickly ('sticky blood syndrome'). The clotting can affect any vein or artery in the body, resulting in a wide range of symptoms.

Back Pain Four out of five of us get back pain at some time and most bouts do get better in a short time. This booklet is aimed at people who have more persistent (long-lasting) back pain. It explains some of the causes of back pain and what you can do to manage it and prevent it happening again.

Behcet's Syndrome This booklet is for anyone who wants to find out more about Behcet's syndrome - or Behcet's disease, as it is also known. We explain the main facts about Behcet's syndrome, including the main symptoms and how it is treated.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve running from the forearm to the wrist gets squeezed - often because the surrounding tendons become swollen. Symptoms include aching, numbness or tingling in the hand and fingers.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) causes persistent burning pain on one of your limbs. It's also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), Sudek's atrophy or algodystrophy. In this section we explain a bit more about CRPS, what causes it, how i's diagnosed and treated, and the importance of self-help measures. We also suggest where you can get more information.

Elbow pain Elbow pain is very common and usually doesn't have a serious cause. In this section we explain a bit more about elbow pain, what causes it, how it's diagnosed and treated, and the importance of self-help measures. We also suggest where you can get more information.

Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a name for widespread pain affecting the muscles but not the joints. It will not cause permanent damage to the tissues but the symptoms may last for months or years.

Gout Gout has been known for more than 2,000 years. It can affect men of any age. It is less common in women and then only occurs after the menopause. Luckily, gout is probably the rheumatic disease for which there is the most satisfactory treatment.

Joint hypermobility Hypermobility means that you can move some or all your joints more than most people can. It's very common and most people won't have any symptoms. In this section we explain a bit more about joint hypermobility, what causes it, how it's diagnosed and treated, and the importance of self-help measures. We also suggest where you can get more information.

Lupus (SLE) This booklet is written for people with lupus and their families and friends. It explains how lupus develops, how it affects different parts of the body, how it can affect people in different ways, and how doctors diagnose it.

Neck pain Neck pain is very common and usually doesn't have a serious cause. In this section we explain a bit more about neck pain, what causes it, how it's diagnosed and treated, and the importance of self-help measures. We also suggest where you can get more information.

Osteoarthritis This booklet aims to help people who have osteoarthritis, and their families and friends. It helps you understand osteoarthritis - how it develops, and how to deal with it.

Osteoporosis The word 'osteoporosis' means, literally, 'porous bone'. It is a condition where you gradually lose bone material so that your bones become more fragile. As a result, they are more likely to break even after a simple fall. This booklet has been produced for anyone interested in finding out more about osteoporosis.

Osteomalacia (Soft Bones) Osteomalacia is a condition which affects the skeleton. It is is often, but not always, caused by lack of vitamin D. The people most often affected are the frail elderly and people of South Asian origin.

Pain in the Neck In this booklet we explain how the neck works and the common causes of neck pain and related conditions. We describe simple ways of dealing with neck pain as well as the main medical and complementary treatments.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a condition in which you have many (poly) painful muscles (myalgia). It is common and very treatable with drugs known as corticosteroids (steroids).

Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis 'Myositis' means inflammation of the muscles. Polymyositis is a condition which affects mainly the larger muscles of the body, such as those around the shoulders, hips and thighs. This booklet also deals with dermatomyositis which causes a particular skin rash with muscle inflammation that is similar to polymyositis.

Psoriatic Arthritis This is a type of arthritis which causes inflammation in and around the joints, usually in people who already have the skin condition psoriasis. Sometimes, however, the arthritis develops before the psoriasis.

Raynaud's Phenomenon If you have Raynaud's phenomenon your hands, and sometimes your feet, change colour when exposed to cold conditions. This is often accompanied by pain, coldness and tingling. Typically the hands go white, then blue, then red as they warm up again.

Reactive Arthritis This booklet is for anyone who wants to find out more about reactive arthritis. You may be suffering from the condition yourself, or you may be a friend, relative or partner of someone with reactive arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis This booklet aims to help people who have rhematoid arthritis, and their families and friends. It helps you understand rheumatoid arthritis - how it develops, and how to deal with it.

Scleroderma The word 'scleroderma' means 'hard skin'. However, many people with scleroderma have problems not only with their skin but with other parts of their bodies as well. The condition is also known as 'systemic sclerosis'.

Sjogren's Syndrome The most common symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome are dry eyes or a dry mouth (sometimes both together), and feeling very tired and aching. Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body's immune system, which usually fights infections, attacks the body's own tissues.

Shoulder Pain This booklet explains why people get shoulder pain and discusses the usual conditions which cause problems. Most shoulder problems settle with simple treatments, but more complex treatments, such as arthroscopy and other forms of surgery, are also discussed.

Vasculitis Vasculitis means inflammation of the blood vessels. This booklet explains what vasculitis is, how it is recognised, how it is treated and what you can do to help your treatment.

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Patient information on treatment

Abatacept Abatacept is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In this section we explain how abatacept works, what you should expect when you have it and what the possible side-effects are.

Adalimumab (Humira) Adalimumab (brand name Humira) is a type of drug known as anti-TNF. In people with rheumatoid arthritis and some other inflammatory diseases a protein called TNF is present in the blood and joints in excessive amounts, where it increases inflammation.

Azathioprine Azathioprine is used in the treatment of several different types of rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Ciclosporin Ciclosporin (brand name Neoral) is used for rheumatoid arthritis to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. It is also used for a number of other conditions, including psoriatic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Cyclophosphamide Cyclophosphamide is used for several different types of rheumatic disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), diseases which inflame the walls of blood vessels (e.g. polyarteritis nodosa), and sometimes for rheumatoid arthritis.

Drugs for Osteoporosis This sheet gives information about the various drugs used to treat osteoporosis. It describes how they are taken, typical side-effects, whether any special monitoring is required, and further information as appropriate.

Etanercept Etanercept (brand name Enbrel) is a type of drug known as anti-TNF. In people with rheumatoid arthritis and some other inflammatory diseases a protein called TNF is present in the blood and joints in excessive amounts, where it increases inflammation.

Gold by Intramuscular Injection Intramuscular gold injections can reduce the inflammation in your joints and decrease pain, swelling and stiffness. Sometimes gold is also used to treat other rheumatic diseases, such as psoriatic arthritis.

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) Although the drug hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) is used in the treatment of malaria, it is also effective for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It can reduce inflammation and so reduce pain, swelling and stiffness of joints and improve the rash of SLE.

Iloprost Iloprost is a man-made version of a substance produced naturally in your body, called prostacyclin. It is prescribed for people with severe circulatory problems, for example ulcers of the fingers in people with scleroderma or related conditions.

Infliximab (Remicade) Infliximab (brand name Remicade) is a type of drug known as anti-TNF. In people with rheumatoid arthritis and some other inflammatory diseases a protein called TNF is present in the blood and joints in excessive amounts, where it increases inflammation.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin Intravenous immunoglobulin, or IV Ig (immunoglobulin given by injection into a vein), can dampen down some inflammatory diseases involving the immune system. It can reduce inflammation in people with polymyositis and dermatomyositis and is sometimes used in people with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE), adult-onset Still's disease, vasculitis or antiphospholipid syndrome.

Leflunomide (Arava) Leflunomide (brand name Arava) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis where the immune system (the body's own defence system) attacks its own tissues.

Methotrexate Methotrexate is used to treat several different types of rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Methotrexate can reduce inflammation and also can affect the immune system (the body's own defence system).

Mycophenolate (Cellcept) Mycophenolate mofetil (brand name CellCept) is used in the treatment of several different types of rheumatic disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and diseases in which there is inflammation of blood vessels ('vasculitis').

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs There are many different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, indometacin, diclofenac and ketoprofen. The name means they reduce pain and stiffness due to inflammation of the joints, without using steroids.

Rituximab (MabThera) Rituximab (brand name MabThera) is a new type of drug which removes antibody-producing white blood cells called B-cells. Antibodies are proteins which are produced by the body in response to germs, viruses or any other substances which the body sees as foreign or dangerous.

Steroid Tablets Steroids can help with several different types of rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). They are very effective against swelling and inflammation. However, they only suppress the disease and do not cure it.

Sulfasalazine Sulfasalazine can reduce the symptoms and slow the progress of rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis. It may reduce the inflammation in your joints and decrease pain, swelling and stiffness.

Tocilizumab Tocilizumab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In this section we explain how tocilizumab works, what you should expect when you have it and what the possible side-effects are.

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Other patient information

Hydrotherapy Its well known that swimming is a good form of exercise for people with arthritis, but you don't have to be able to swim to enjoy the benefits of exercising in water. This section explains how and why hydrotherapy is used to help ease pain and improve mobility in the joints of people with arthritis and related conditions.

Occupational therapy Occupational therapy can play a very important part in helping you to manage your arthritis. Itll help you find ways of continuing with your work, household tasks, personal care and hobbies independently and without straining your joints..

Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. It helps you to keep your joints and muscles moving and gives you the confidence to continue exercising on your own. In this section well explain what physiotherapy is, how it can help you and how you can access it.

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Appointments:

The Belfast Rheumatology Clinic
At Medical Associates
25 Derryvolgie Avenue
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BT9 6FN

Telephone: 0044 (0) 2890 382 202
Facsimile : 0044 (0) 2890 667 488

E-mail:
secretary@medical-associates.co.uk


Web:
www.medical-associates.co.uk