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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Joint Pain and Crohn's - what can I take?

    I've just been diagnosed with Crohn's diesease. I'm in the middle of a flare up and 2 weeks from seeing my Gastro Dr. At the moment the joints in the left side of my body are stiffening up and have become very painful. I am uanble to walk properly, turn my neck or carry objects in my left arm. Is there an anti-inflammatory I can take that will help with this, while not affecting Crohn's?
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    Dr van Langenberg is a consultant gastroenterologist in private practice in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs and has public hospital appointments as Director of IBD, Eastern Health … View Profile

    Sorry to hear you are in this difficult situation. The best thing to correct this problem will be to treat your flare with appropriate medication and then your joint symptoms will usually settle down as a result. However in the meantime, it sounds like you won't be able to function without some treatment for your joints.

    Although generally we try to avoid anti-inflammatories in people with Crohn's disease because of a risk of these class of drugs worsening Crohn's disease or triggering a flare, this risk is often overstated and desperate times mean desperate measures! I would recommend you do take an anti-inflammatory in this instance. Ideally, your local doctor could prescribe you Celebrex (twice a day) which is probably less harmful than other standard anti-inflammatories. Otherwise you could use naproxen** or ibuprofen regularly (available from your pharmacist) until you see your specialist.

    The other option is to start prednisolone which would treat your flare of Crohn's and your joint symptoms with probable rapid relief, but it would be best to notify your Gastro doctor if this is the way you want to go…

    *We have changed the manufacturer’s product name to the medicine type. This is because some manufacturer’s products cannot be included on a website that is accessible to general consumers.

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