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People who are managing chronic inflammatory conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout or pseudogout or osteoarthritis of the thumb joint will likely work with a local rheumatologist, which is a doctor who is trained in treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A rheumatologist treats conditions of the muscles, joints, bones, ligaments and tendons.
In addition to working with a local rheumatologist, a person with an inflammatory condition will probably work closely with a local pharmacist. Local pharmacists are medical providers who are educated in providing prescription medication to people of all ages. From birth control pills to antibiotics, there are many reasons why people work with a local pharmacist.
A local pharmacist may work at a hospital, clinic, nursing home or drugstore/grocery store. From properly storing medication to understanding side effects, a local pharmacist can help you understand the benefits and risks of your arthritis medications such as prednisone. Some of the medications someone with an inflammatory condition may take include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, narcotics, steroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate. Your local pharmacist can also answer questions you have about your condition and help you stay compliant with your medication plan. Your local pharmacist can work with your local rheumatologist to create your ideal treatment plan and prevent medication interactions.
It’s important your local pharmacist knows all the medications you’re taking, because there may be drug interactions between certain medications. For example, the arthritis medication leflunomide may interact with the blood thinner Warfarin. Your local pharmacist can work closely with your local rheumatologist and any otherhealthcare providers as needed, from your local urologist to your local dermatologist. Your local pharmacist can also be a good resource on topics like heart-healthy nutrition including sodium reduction and exercise, diabetes management and more.