Patients with clinically suspected inflammatory arthritis should be referred urgently to the rheumatology department, especially if there is clinically evident synovitis or dactylitis.
Prior to rheumatology clinic review, useful measures to manage symptoms include:
- NSAIDs – taken regularly at maximal doses. E.g Ibuprofen (upto 600mg qds), Naproxen (500mg bd), Etodolac (600mg od), Meloxicam (15mg od), Etoricoxib (60mg od)
- Simple analgesics – as tolerated – E.g Paracetamol, Cocodamol 8-30/500, Codydramol 10-30/500.
Empirical corticosteroid therapy should be avoided wherever possible unless the patient is experiencing significant levels of pain or functional impairment.