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What is Ankylosing spondylitis?

Q: I had a detailed check up and according to the doctor, X-ray/blood test report said that I have been affected by Ankylosing Spondylosis. So the doctor has given me a medicine named Indocap SR manufactured by Jagsonpal pharmaceuticals Ltd. I have to take one tablet daily. 1) Is this fully curable? 2) What type of exercises do you suggest for me? 3) Will it affect my sex life? 4) What are the side effects of this and the drug? 5) For how long do I have to take the tablet, life long? 6) My back has bent a little; can I make it straight?

A:Ankylosing spondylitis is a genetic disease that is transmitted in the genes passed on from the parents. Although till recently only anti-inflammatory drugs (the medicines given to you is one of this group of medicines, there are many more) were the mainstay of treatment. However, recent research has shown that there are 3 more categories of drugs called DISEASE MODIFYING DRUGS (DMARDS), BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE MODIFIERS (BRMs) and BISPHOSPHONATES (mainly pamidronate) that appear to either retard or stop the progressive on the disease. For knowing about this you shall have to contact a rheumatologist (not orthopaedic surgeon) who specialise in joint diseases. Regarding your specific questions: 1. It is a genetic disease. Therefore, it is part of your body and shall always be there. However, with medicines the disease activity can be controlled. It is somewhat like diabetes and high blood pressure which, can be controlled with medicines and the person leads a normal life. 2. For exercises you will have to contact a physiotherapist who can guide you properly. 3. It does not affect sexual life. 4. Side effects of Indocap include Nausea, vomiting, stomach bleeding, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, confusion, and depression. But, the side effects are seen in a small percentage of persons using the medicine. The benefits of using the drug usually out-weigh the side-effects. Your doctor is the best person to decide the use and dosage of any drug. Most of your other questions can be answered by your Rheumatologist after a detailed examination.


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