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Posts Tagged ‘NSAID’

Herbal supplements like garcinia kola are used to treat a broad range of symptoms. While many are promising, their classification as herbal supplements frees them from many FDA approval requirements and may allow contaminated pills to reach the market.

 

Most drugs designed to treat osteoarthritis do so only by addressing the primary symptoms of the disease: joint pain and inflammation.  Reducing swelling is highly effective at reducing the friction within the joint space, and can slow the deterioration of the cartilage.  This delays the progression of the osteoarthritis and, theoretically, could speed the healing process.  Unfortunately, since cartilage heals so slowly, non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) are often prescribed in large doses over long periods of time.  For some individuals, large quantities of NSAID’s can lead to bad reactions.  These individuals often turn to herbal supplements to replace the NSAID’s in their daily routines.

Recent research in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research found that garcinia kola, a common African herbal supplement, is effective in treating osteoarthritis of the knee.  Garcinia kola, like most western osteoarthritis medications, acts as a painkiller and antiinflammatory.  This article confirms that individuals taking garcinia kola did better than those with no treatment, but found that traditional NSAID’s were more effective in reducing knee pain and swelling.

The FDA examines herbal supplements like garcinia kola differently than it checks medications.  This directly leads to a reduction in quality control, and can allow impure products to reach the market.  Always be aware that herbal supplements are not part of the pharmaceutical industry, and so are subjected to less stringent inspections.

While many herbal supplements are promising, they are often less effective than their manufacturers suggest.  Herbal supplements are most appropriate as substitutes for western medications which cannot be taken for a specific reason.  If you hear about a promising herbal supplement, consult your doctor before taking it, and do not assume that it will perform as advertised.



Aspirin

Aspirin

Aspirin helps reduce pain, swelling, and fever.  It is a medicine in the salicylates family of chemicals.  It may be one of the most famous and extensively studied medicines in the world.  Aspirin is often recommended, prescribed, and taken to treat the symptoms associated with joint pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are often confused for Aspirin.  They are close cousins, but not exactly siblings.  Ibuprofen is a non steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID), and acetaminophen is in a class of medications called analgesics or pain relievers.

Some brand names you might recognize are below:

Aspirin:  Bufferin, Bayer, Ecotrin

Acetaminophen: Excedrin, Tylenol

NSAID:  Naproxen, Aleve, Advil, Motrin

Each class of arthritis treatment has pros, cons, and side effects.  it is important for your health that you consult with a physician to devise a treatment plan for your arthritis pain.  Self medicating may work at relieving joint pain on a short-term basis, but long term you can destroy your liver, stomach, or mental health with any or all of the above.



Celebrex

Celebrex

116,00 patients takings non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were studied by The British Journal of Medicine.  This recent publication states that taking certain medications, like celecoxib, will increase the risk of cardiovascular events in patients, especially as the dosage increases.  Celecoxib is sold as Celebrex by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Pfizer is the world’s largest drug maker.  In 2004 Pfizer spent $117 Million in advertising Celebrex.  In 2005 the FDA forced a moratorium on Pfizer’s advertising efforts of Celebrex because of the cardiovascular risks.  Sales of Celebrex plummeted by $1.7 BILLION.  Four months later the advertising ban was lifted.

Now Pfizer must print that “Celebrex may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death” on every box sold.   Consumer groups have launched campaigns in magazines that Pfizer should be forced to stop selling Celebrex, not encouraging people to use it.

So why have you never heard of treating knee osteoarthritis with a knee brace?  Because the companies that manufacture them are small.  They cannot compete with big pharma.  Pfizer spent $117 million on advertising one single drug in 2004.  The companies that manufacture braces to treat osteoarthritis measure their advertising budgets in the tens of thousands.  Billions and billions of dollars are spent annually to treat osteoarthritis.  Half of one percent of that money is spent on bracing.

Talk to your doctor, do your homework, and try conservative treatments for your knee OA.  There are much safer options than drugs.  NSAIDs kill.  Knee braces do not.



Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen

A new study released by the British Journal of Medicine reports that of all the non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, Ibuprofen carries the highest risk of stroke.

The researchers used a sophisticated system to examine studies and trials that included over 116,000 patients.  Research was examined that compared NSAIDs with other NSAIDs and placebos.

This large meta-analysis discovered compelling cardiovascular problems in patients using prescription-strength NSAIDs.  Dr. Jeffrey Berger of NYU Medical Center in Manhattan said that a patient can take enough pills purchased over the counter to equal a prescription dose, so the findings “most likely” apply to over-the-counter NSAIDs as well as prescription-strength.

So check with your doctor.  Stop looking in your medicine cabinet for pain relief the next time your knee is hurting.  A knee brace is a safe, conservative treatment option for your osteoarthritis.  Nobody has ever died from a knee brace.



NSAIDs

NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis on a chemical level.

Enzymes called Cox-1 and Cox-2 are a contributing factor in the creation of prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins are responsible for swelling and the sensation of pain.  NSAID’s block Cox enzymes, so your body does not produce as many prostaglandins.

So NSAID’s reduce pain and swelling by blocking Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymes, thus your body doesn’t produce as many prostaglandins, and pain and swelling is reduced.



Attention!

Attention!

NSAIDs are commonly prescribed and recommended to treat the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.  This series of posts is about the side effects associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Some of the problems that these medications cause are very serious and can adversely effect your health much worse than the pain in your knee caused by OA.

  • Liver Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

NSAID use has been linked to all of the above conditions.  It is important you talk to your doctor and know all of the risks associated with any medication you take.  With NSAIDs, know all of the precautions you must take to safely treat your knee pain.

Think about a conservative treatment option for your knee OA.  Nobody has ever died from wearing a knee brace.



Tinnitus

Tinnitus

Knee osteoarthritis is often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  NSAIDs can have some potentially serious side effects.  Tinnitus is one of those possible side effects.

Tinnitus – this is not a disease but an aural condition.  It is characterized by noises in your head when everything is quiet.  Tinnitus is usually worse at night or when in very quiet places.  The noises can occur in one or both ears and can sound like buzzing whistling, ringing, or hissing.



Itching

Itching

Allergic Reactions are a known and well-documented side effect associated with NSAIDs used to treat OA of the knee.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often recommended and prescribed to reduce the pain and swelling associated with knee osteoarthritis.  Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of Breath

Your physician should be contacted immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms.  If you have trouble breathing call 911.



Fatigue

Fatigue

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs are often used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.  However these medications are associated with a host of side effects.  This series of blog posts examines these side effects.

NSAID use can lead to fatigue and drowsiness.  Fatigue is different than drowsiness.  Drowsiness is the need to sleep.  Fatigue is a lack of energy and/or motivation.  This encompasses both physical and mental conditions.  It should be left up to a physician to distinguish between the two.



upset-stomach

                      Upset Stomach

NSAID’s are commonly used to treat knee osteoarthritis.  However these medications have side effects.  Gastrointestinal problems rank as a leading problem associated with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Symptoms can include but are mot limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach Ache

Notify your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.  Also ask about knee braces to treat your osteoarthritis of the knee.  Knee braces don’t cause ulcers.