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Reactive arthritis

  • Alternative Names

    Reiter syndrome; Post-infectious arthritis


    The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and treat any underlying infection.

    Conjunctivitis and skin lesions associated with the syndrome do not require treatment, and will go away on their own.

    Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and pain relievers may be recommended for those with joint pain. If a joint is persistently inflamed, a doctor may inject a strong anti-inflammatory medicine (corticosteroid) into the area.

    Physical therapy can help relieve pain, help you move better, and maintain muscle strength. You may need to make adjustments if your job requires heavy lifting or strenuous use of the back.

    Therapy to suppress the immune system may be considered for individuals with a severe case of the disease, but this treatment is not used in most people because of toxic side effects.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Reactive arthritis may go away in a few weeks, but can last for a few months. Symptoms may return over a period of several years in up to half of the people affected. The condition may become chronic.

    • Aortic insufficiency (rare)
    • Arrhythmias (rare)
    • Uveitis

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of this condition develop.