Muscles And Joints - part 2

Medicaments for gout

An individual suffers from gout when he/ she has very high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is basically a spinoff of the normal metabolic process in the body.

When there is excessive uric acid in the bloodstream, it forms crystals in different body parts, particularly inside the joints of knee; foot (very frequently inside the big toe); as well as the hands giving rise to immense pain accompanied with inflammation - a condition called gouty arthritis.

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When these uric acid crystals develop in the form of a white accumulations inside the soft tissues they are called tophi, and they are referred to as stones when they form within the kidneys.

Gouty arthritis flare-ups may happen repeatedly and may possibly cause damage to the joints and even distort their structure. Likewise, formation of stones inside the kidneys impairs them as well as their normal functioning.

Enhanced production of uric acid within the body or the failure of the kidneys to get rid of it in sufficient amounts is responsible for the presence of too much uric acid in the bloodstream.

This malady has a propensity to be a family problem and usually men suffer from this condition more. Consumption of heavy amounts of alcoholic beverages, obesity as well eating specific foods, such as red meat, organ meat, brains, anchovies and sardines, enhances the chances of gouty arthritic attacks.

Consumption of too much alcoholic beverages and/ or taking medications like anticancer drugs or thiazide diuretics may set off a flare-up of gouty arthritis. Besides conventional medicaments, restricting alcohol consumption as well as modifying the diet may be helpful in treating gouty arthritis effectively.

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Several medicaments, including NSAIDs like colchicine, indomethacin and not so extensively used medicines like corticotropin (ACTH) and corticosteroids are prescribed for treating severe conditions of gout.

All these medicaments regulate the production as well as secretion of the corticosteroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Additional medications, such as allopurinol, sulfinpyrazone, probenecid, in addition to uricosuric medicines are also useful in lowering the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream.

It is important to note that physicians generally do not prescribe ASA to alleviate pain, as this medication inhibits the process of eliminating uric acid from the body.

The anti-gout medication allopurinol works to lessen the concentration of uric acid in the bloodstream by means of obstructing the actions of an enzyme called xanthine oxidase, which is engaged in uric acid production within our body.

Other medicaments like sulfinpyrazone and probenecid augment the speed at which the kidneys eliminate uric acid from the body. The use of colchicine may possibly lessen the inflammation and consequently the pain too by obstructing the activities of the leucocytes (white blood cells) inside the joints where there is a build-up of uric acid crystals.

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It has been found that when these medications are used for a prolonged period to treat gout, they are generally effective in putting off the flare-ups as well as deformation of the affected joints. Nevertheless, the response to the treatment is likely to be quite slow.

Colchicine has the potential to bother your digestive system and may cause pain in the abdominal region. However, your physician will be able to effectively deal with this problem.

Uricosuric medicines enhance the amount of uric acid eliminated by means of the kidneys; they may possibly result in the formation of crystals of uric acid inside the kidneys itself.

Hence, these medications are usually not prescribed for people who are suffering from problems related to kidneys from before. It is preferable to use allopurinol in all such instances.

Remember, you should drink lots of water or other fluids when you are undergoing treatment with anti-gout medications as it will help to prevent the development of uric acid crystals inside the kidney. In addition, you also need to have your blood tested at regular intervals with a view to monitor the concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream.

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Muscle-relaxant medicaments

There are many medications that are effective for treating muscle spasms - a condition wherein the muscles contract involuntarily causing immense pain; or a cluster of muscles in the arms or legs that may become stiff; or a muscle problem that may almost stop you from making your back straight.

Muscles spasms and pains are caused by several reasons. It can occur after you sustain an injury; happen on its own; or caused by various health problems, such as osteoporosis - a condition wherein the soreness in the distressed joint generates atypical stress in the adjacent muscles.

Spasticity is basically a different type of muscle contraction that occurs when an individual is suffering from neurological problems, for instance, stroke, multiple sclerosis and/ or cerebral palsy. At times, spasticity may be cured by employing physical therapy. However, in serious instances, the patient may require using medicines to get relief from the related symptoms.

Muscle-relaxant medications act on either of two methods. Medications that work centrally inhibit the transmission of signals from the nerves in the brain as well as the spinal cord that instruct the muscles to tighten, thereby lessening the needless stimulus to the muscles in addition to unnecessary tightening of the muscles. For instance, dantrolene lessens the muscles' susceptibility to the signals sent by the nerves.

When these medications are taken on a regular basis to treat spastic disorders related to the central nervous system, they normally lessen the inflexibility of the muscles and also help in improving their mobility. These medications may possibly also help the patient in making use of his/ her arms as well as legs that might have been damaged due to muscle spasms.

However, it is unfortunate that majority of the medications that act centrally may usually produce a depressing result on the activity of the nerves and result in stupor/ lethargy, especially during the initial stage of the treatment.

Using very elevated doses of these medications is likely to markedly decrease the ability of the muscles to tighten and, hence, may result in debility. This is the main reason why the dose of these drugs should always be adjusted cautiously with a view to determine the appropriate dosage that regulates the symptoms and simultaneously sustains the strength of the muscles adequately.

Using the muscle-relaxant medications that work centrally also may have a long-term risk, especially making the body in need of the medicament for slowing down the intense actions of the nerves that cause the muscles to contract awfully.

If you stop taking these medications abruptly, it may result in the further deterioration of the inflexibility of the muscles - more than what it was prior to beginning treatment with the medication.

Although rare, dantrolene has the potential to harm the liver seriously and this is the prime reason why people who are using this medicament ought to get their blood examined on a regular basis with a view to review the functioning of their liver.

Medicaments used for myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis is a malady related to the muscles and it arises when our immune system turns flawed and begins to turn out antibodies that interrupt the signals sent out by the nervous system to the muscles that are in voluntary control. The consequences of such interruption are the gradual deterioration in response of the muscles.

The muscles that are affected first are those that regulate the eye lids, eyes, larynx, and pharynx. With the advancement of the disease, the muscles of the arms as well as the legs also get involved simultaneously.

Often, myasthenia gravis is related to a thymus gland disorder. In fact, the thymus gland happens to be the place where the antibodies that that cause destruction originate.

Myasthenia gravis may be treated in many forms. Removing the thymus gland is one form of treating this disease. In addition, the patient may get relief from the symptoms for a brief while by removing the antibodies from the blood - a procedure called plasmapheresis.

You may also use medicines, mainly pyridostigmine and neostigmine - which help to enhance the functioning of the muscles. These medications may be used independently or in conjunction with additional medicines that work to slow down the activities of the immune system, particularly azathioprine or corticosteroids.

Our muscles perform normally after a nerve impulse activates a nerve terminal to discharge a neurotransmitter that attached to a particular receptor found atop muscles cells and results in the contraction of the muscles.

When a person suffers from myasthenia gravis, the immune system of his/ her body obliterates several such receptors making the muscles not as much responsive to stimulation by the nerves.

The medicines that are used for treating this health condition, for instance, neostigmine, augment the concentration of neurotransmitters at the nerve terminals by obstructing the activities of a particular enzyme that usually disintegrates it.

An enhanced level of neurotransmitters allows the receptors that are left behind to work further effectively. Usually, the medications used to treat myasthenia gravis reinstate the normal or almost normal functioning of the muscles when the disease occurs in a weak or moderate form.

However, it is unfortunate that these medications have the aptitude to result in undesirable muscular movements by augmenting the nerve impulse transmission in other parts of the body.

Use of medications to treat myasthenia gravis also causes a number of side effects; the most common among them may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea as well as occurrence of muscle cramps in the abdomen, arms and legs.

Even when an individual is undergoing treatment for myasthenia gravis using medications, the existing muscle debility may deteriorate further. In case this happens, the patient should be careful and not take the medications in excessive doses with a view to get faster relief from the symptoms, as taking high doses of these medicines may possibly obstruct the transmission of signals from the nerves to the muscles, resulting in more weakness.

The use of additional medicines, counting a number of antibiotics, may also cause a significant augmentation of the symptoms associated with myasthenia gravis. It is advisable that you call your physician and seek his/ her help right away if you notice that your symptoms are worsening further.

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