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
visit the Glucosamine Information Center to learn more
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