Gold0 How Does It Work For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Serendipity is what first led physicians to use gold salts to treat arthritis. Initially, gold was tested as a treatment for tuberculosis; however, it was observed that gold had salutary effects in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Gold was used extensively until the early 19800s when it was supplanted by methotrexate as the disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) of choice. (DMARDs are drugs that actually slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as opposed to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that merely help with symptoms.) More recently, biologic treatments have also entered the arena and are capable of putting RA into remission.

Gold treatment, while often effective, also was associated with a host of problems. The shots took months to take effect and side effects included rashes, mouth sores, kidney damage, inflammation of the lung, and occasionally, damage to the bone marrow causing life-threatening reductions in the number of red and white blood cell counts and platelet counts.

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