Arthritis Medicine for People with Diabetes

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Experts in the scientific community are aware of the special case of people suffering from both arthritis and diabetes. The main concern of most doctors is the proper choice of the type of treatment that would be beneficial for both diseases. In this connection, the best arthritis medicine for people with diabetes are discussed.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that around 52% of people with diabetes also have arthritis. Although the two diseases are not necessarily directly related to each other, the symptoms of both diseases can overlap. Because of the different chemical agents that affect glucose levels in the body, it is very important to supervise the medicines used for the treatment of arthritis symptoms with diabetic patients.

It has to be noted that the treatments for arthritis and diabetes are very different. The treatments normally depend on the type of diabetes and arthritis. Due to the different medicines employed, patients have to be aware of possible drug interactions that my affect the efficacy of the treatment.

The Treatment of Arthritis

There is no cure to reverse the problem of arthritis. The treatment of the disease is to mainly manage the symptoms like pain, inflammation, and stiffness. The treatments for the two most common types of arthritis, namely osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesic medications.

Rheumatoid arthritis, meanwhile, is treated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs. These medications will inhibit the progression of the damage in the joints. Biologics are also employed to slow down the progress of the disease. Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, biologics are prescribed to specifically target excessive products like tumor necrosis factor due to the abnormal function of the immune system.

The Treatment of Diabetes

The treatment of diabetes, on the other hand, is to control blood glucose levels. For type 1 diabetes, the treatment involves regular insulin injections to keep the patient alive. The treatment of type 2 diabetes involves strict diet and exercise. There are cases also where medications may be administered to stimulate the production of more insulin to control the glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Drug Interactions

Because diabetes may be monitored by another doctor and arthritis by another specialist, it is very important to let all your doctors know about all the medications, including supplements, which you are taking. Different medicines can have drug interactions that can provide negative effects to the body.

One of the commonly reported problems is the use of acetaminophen. This drug is used to effectively reduce the pain from arthritis. Acetaminophen can, however, affect the accuracy of home blood glucose readings. Thus, it is not advised to use acetaminophen when the patient has diabetes.

Another problem of drug interaction is encountered with the use of aspirin. Large doses of aspirin may reduce the pain from arthritis but it can also lower the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes. This can be dangerous with some people suffering from diabetes.

Best Arthritis Medicines for Diabetes Patients

The following medicines are recommended to reduce the symptoms of arthritis with individuals suffering from diabetes:

Hydroxychloroquine. One of the recommended medications for rheumatoid arthritis is the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Research reported that people who are taking this medication are less likely to develop diabetes compared to those who do not take the drug. Furthermore, users of this antimalarial drug were less likely to need medications to control blood glucose levels.

Salsalate. The researchers from Joslin Diabetes Center have reported that Salsalate may be used to prevent type 2 diabetes. In the May 2008 issue of Clinical and Translational Science journal, Salsalate has been discovered to lower the blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, it also reduces arthritis inflammation significantly.


From the findings of researches above, there are two medications that are proven to be the best arthritis medicine for people with diabetes. These medicines are Hydroxychloroquine and Salsalate. Seek the advice of your doctors for proper consultation and monitoring of arthritis and diabetes using these two medicines.