I have been on an antibiotic (augmentin) for the past 12 days due to an infection and noticed that my RA symptoms have lessened. Is there a connection between antibiotics and RA treatment?

Ask the Doctor: Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR
Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR
Physician-in-Chief Emeritus, Hospital for Special Surgery

Answer: Many patients have noticed the same improvement in their RA while they are on antibiotics for another reason. As you are probably aware, for many years it has been thought that RA is likely triggered by an infection, most likely a virus. Thus many different types of antibiotics have been studied and some have shown to be effective in controlling the inflammation of RA, particularly a tetracycline drug called minocycline. However, its effect is thought to be due to its ability to block the action of certain enzymes that cause joint inflammation. In your situation, your improvement may reflect the natural waxing and waning of RA or a local infection may have been exacerbating your inflammation and the Augmentin helped this. This does not mean that you should go on such an antibiotic for life because of the problems associated with changes you bacterial flora and future ineffectiveness of such antibiotics.

 

Need Help Finding a Physician?

Call us toll-free at:
+1.877.606.1555

Related Conditions

Conditions & Treatments

adult child
Select A Body Part
Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult spine Conditions: Adult shoulder Conditions: Adult elbow Conditions: Adult hand Conditions: Adult hip Conditions: Adult knee Conditions: Adult ankle Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult full body Conditions: Child spine Conditions: Child elbow Conditions: Child hip Conditions: Child hand Conditions: Child knee Conditions: Child ankle Conditions: Child full body


Conditions A-Z
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
SEE ALL