Treatment and effectivity of gold injections
Gold injections are not painkillers and do not alleviate symptoms as a painkiller would. They work by blocking inflammation caused by an overactive immune system, and must be injected into muscle tissue, where the compound is absorbed and spread throughout the body. A physician will typically inject the compound into the buttocks while the patient is lying down to prevent dizziness or lightheadedness. After receiving the injection, patients will typically wait 10–15 minutes before sitting up.
Injections are typically delivered once a week until the patient begins to show improvement. The dose is determined by the acting physician. Once the signs are clear, the doctor will typically scale back the administrations to twice a month, or less if side effects become too prevalent. If symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis return or begin to worsen, the physician will bring the administration back up to once a week.
Due to the balance between treating RA and preventing side effects, a patient must be closely monitored throughout the administration period. Physicians closely observe the patient, evaluating their response to the treatment while looking for symptom reduction and minimal side effects. The injections must also be regular; any lapse in treatment may result in ineffective treatment with lingering side effects.
It can sometimes take up to three months for patients to begin to see improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In some cases, patients may not see any improvement and will inform their doctors so that an alternative route may be taken. While the most common RA treatment prescribed today is methotrexate, which is generally the stronger of the two treatments, there is a small chance that those who respond favorably to gold injections will actually experience greater benefits than they would from methotrexate.