The IMMEDIATE benefit of using meds to treat your condition is, of course, PAIN RELIEF. Since joint pain is SIDELINING, medicines that reduce pain and inflammation allow you to live a more productive life with fewer symptoms. Medications can also reduce joint damage and slow the progression of the disease, and this vastly improves the long-term outlook of people with rheumatoid arthritis, for example. But what about the LONG-TERM side effects of drug therapy? If you are taking NSAIDs-or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - for either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, there is an increased risk of stomach problems and in some cases, development of peptic ulcers, intestinal bleeding, heart problems and kidney failure. Even over-the-counter formulations-you'll know them as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium,-come with these risks. In general, doctors will prescribe the LOWEST and MOST effective dose. And, you should take NSAIDs with food and an acid-reducing drug. Acetaminophen, found in Tylenol, is not an anti-inflammatory, but it does relieve pain. It may cause liver damage - IF you disregard what the bottle and your doctors tell you. Your doctor's instructions are especially important if you take disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs to treat certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. All disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs work to calm an overactive immune system, but a weaker immune system ALSO leaves a person more susceptible to infections. Doctors will monitor drug therapy CLOSELY to prevent side effects as much as possible. And for many people the benefits far outweigh the risks. For more information on joint pain treatment, check out additional videos in this series.