NSAIDS and Arthritis
|A common myth is that cheap and readily available drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen are effective and safe methods of arthritis pain relief. While we certainly do not want to imply that taking over the counter medicines such as aspirin is an overly unsafe practice, as they will temporarily relieve some of your pain, bear in mind that there are many potentially serious long term effects (such as gastric toxicity) of the drugs known as the NSAIDS, which include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. They can even cause or accelerate articular damage. Even acetaminophen, while not technically an NSAID, can have very detrimental effects on the body if taken for long periods of time, in large enough doses or combined with other drugs such as alcohol. So far, there is no real convincing data that shows the widely used NSAIDs and recommended selective COX-2 inhibitors even have a favorable effect on cartilage. They might relieve your pain in the short term, but at what cost to your joints in the long term?Doctors commonly prescribe over the counter drugs like aspirin to ease arthritis pain. Aside from vomiting and nausea, long term or large doses of NSAIDS or acetaminophen can actually cause serious kidney damage, liver failure, as well as cause damage the lining of the stomach or intestines. Members of the research community have a word for it: toxicity. We have long reached for a bottle of aspirin when we have minor pain but we should be careful to understand the long term consequences of what we are putting into our bodies. There are other more natural substances (naturally found in the body) that have been discovered that are just as effective (if not more so, depending on the type of arthritis) with far fewer side effects.Please visit the Glucosamine Information Center to learn moreReferences:
1. Pharmacological Research. 46(1):1-6, 2002 Jul.
2. American Journal of Medicine. 83(5A):29-34, 1987 Nov 20.
3. Inflammation. 26(3):139-42, 2002 Jun.Be sure to visit the Glucosamine Product Guide for a review of commercially available glucosamine products.