Doctor… I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis – Can I Drink Alcohol?
By Nathan Wei
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic disease and the most common cause of crippling. RA affects roughly 2 million Americans.
The treatment of RA involves the use of two major types of medications. The first type is the anti-inflammatory group. These help with symptoms. The second type is the disease modifying group. These help slow the disease process down.
Both groups of medicines are metabolized through the liver. What that means is that it is not a good idea to use alcohol either heavily or chronically while on these medicines. In fact, many rheumatologists advise their RA patients taking methotrexate- one very common disease modifying drug- to avoid alcohol altogether.
Another issue is the increased rate of peptic ulcers that can develop in patients taking non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Concomitant alcohol use increases the risk of …