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Posts tagged ‘Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug’

Common Arthritis Painkillers Linked to Heart Disease.


 

pills
(Free Digital Photos/Maggie Smith)

Two common painkillers, ibuprofen and diclofenac, can slightly increase the risk of heart problems if taken in high doses for a long time, data suggests.

People with severe arthritis often take the drugs, which also calm inflammation, to go about daily life.

The researchers said some patients would deem the risk acceptable, but they should be given the choice.

A study published in the Lancet showed the drugs posed even greater risks for smokers and the overweight.

The risks have been reported before, but a team of researchers at the University of Oxford analyzed the issue in unprecedented detail in order to help patients make an informed choice. The group investigated more than 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials to assess the impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They looked at high-dose prescriptions levels, rather than over-the-counter pain relief, of 150mg diclofenac or 2,400mg ibuprofen each day.

The study showed that for every 1,000 people taking the drugs, there would be three additional heart attacks, four more cases of heart failure and one death as well as cases of stomach bleeding every year as a result of taking the drugs.

So the number of heart attacks would increase from eight per 1,000 people per year normally to 11 per 1,000 people per year with the drugs.

“Three per 1,000 per year sounds like it is quite a low risk, but the judgement has to be made by patients,” lead researcher Colin Baigent says. “If you’re a patient and you go and sit in front of your doctor and discuss it, you are the one who should be making the judgment about whether three per 1,000 per year is worth it to allow you, potentially, to go about your daily life.”

He said this should not concern people taking a short course of these drugs, for example for headaches. However, he did warn that those already at risk of heart problems would be at even greater risk as a result of the high-dose drugs.

High blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking all increase the risk of heart problems.

Baigent says, “The higher your risk of heart disease, the higher your risk of a complication. Roughly speaking, if you’ve got double the risk of heart disease, then the risk of having a heart attack is roughly doubled.”

Baigent says patients should consider ways to reduce their risk, which could include statins for some patients.

Alternative

A similar drug called rofecoxib (known as Vioxx) was voluntarily taken off the market by its manufacturer in 2004 after similar concerns were raised.

There are more than 17 million prescriptions of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the UK each year. Two-thirds are either ibuprofen or diclofenac.

A third drug, naproxen, had lower risks of heart complications in the study, and some doctors are prescribing this to higher-risk patients. The drug does a similar job as aspirin by stopping the blood from clotting, although this also increases the odds of a stomach bleed.

Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, says the drugs are a “lifeline” for millions of people with arthritis and are “extremely effective in relieving pain.” He adds, “However, because of their potential side effects, in particular the increased risk of cardiovascular complications, which has been known for a number of years, there is an urgent need to find alternatives that are as effective, but safer.”

Donald Singer, member of the British Pharmacological Society and from the University of Warwick, says, “The findings underscore a key point for patients and prescribers: Powerful drugs may have serious harmful effects. It is therefore important for prescribers to take into account these risks and ensure patients are fully informed about the medicines they are taking.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

CHAUNCEY CRANDALL, M.D.


Dr. Chauncey Crandall is the author of Raising the Dead, in which the reader takes a walk in Crandall’s shoes to discover how the grace of God can help overcome disease; how prayer, praise, and thanksgiving can do wonders for stress and even eliminate the need for medications; and the problems with and causes of “why me” thinking when something bad happens to you or a loved one.

For the original article, visit chaunceycrandall.com.

How to Live Pain-Free in Midlife.


woman in pain
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

As baby boomers enter middle age and beyond, many of them struggle with mild to intense physical agony caused by bone degeneration. Whether this degeneration is due to swelling of the tissues that line the joints, muscle strain, or fatigue, the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons break down too soon for one out of every four American midlifers.

The joint problems they experience can initiate changes in both body and mind that ultimately affect the spirit. Joint problems cause mental stress as well, which increases the release of adrenaline. Ultimately, excess adrenaline leads to exhaustion.

Then depression sets in because serotonin levels drop when the action of “feel good” brain chemicals is hindered. Sleep is disrupted by the pain, tension and exhaustion, further inhibiting the body’s ability to release natural mood elevators known as endorphins.

In an effort to break the cycle of pain so they can carry on with their daily responsibilities, midlifers often use over-the-counter or prescription medications. They spend billions of dollars on NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitors.

Boomers are usually too busy, too stressed, and too tired to actively take care of their muscles and joints. They believe they have to live with this “inevitable” part of midlife. A friend recently told me that these days his back goes out more than he does!

Can midlifers find relief from the pain and suffering that affects their bodies and minds–without taking medications that have negative side effects?

Absolutely! But they must become active participants in their own recovery through the use of natural therapies.

Some nutritional approaches are highly effective. In fact, there is hope that natural substances will someday revolutionize the treatment and management of arthritic disease. They may even help the body rebuild functioning joints.

  • Willow bark is rich in salicin and salicylates that metabolize into salicylic acid. Salicylic acid, the base of aspirin, was first prepared from willow bark in the late 1930s. Willow bark has fewer side effects than aspirin and has a long tradition of use in Europe. It has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Fish oil helps regulate inflammation. Omega-3 oils (EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil suppress inflammation especially well in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.Publications from around the world now confirm that omega-3 oils are effective in relieving morning stiffness and the tender joints associated with RA. In some instances omega-3 oil actually eliminated the need for NSAIDs. Further, fish oil and low-dose aspirin taken together have been found to have better effects on inflammation than either substance alone.
  • Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of cartilage that reduces pain while increasing range of motion with long-term use.
  • Glucosamine alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate is becoming the treatment of choice for osteoarthritis (OA). It has the ability to repair and improve joint function in addition to providing pain relief. Most important of all, it offers no dangerous side effects.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been reported to diminish pain. Free-radical damage is a factor in the development of OA and RA patients.
  • GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) is a fatty acid that has been used to suppress chronic inflammation. Dietary sources include black walnut seed oil, evening primrose oil and borage oil.
  • Nettle leaf has a long history of use as a safe remedy for arthritis in Germany. It is a natural COX2 inhibitor, which means it suppresses the pro-inflammatory enzyme known as Cyclooxygenase-2.
  • Ginger root (not to be confused with wild ginger, which can be hazardous) is a powerful herb that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been used for thousands of years in China for rheumatism, stomach distress and nausea.Natural therapies can be effective for the midlife pain that comes with arthritis. They should be tried first, in my opinion, because they can provide relief from pain and inflammation without the negative side effects common to NSAIDs.
  • JANET MACCARO, PH.D

  • Janet Maccaro, Ph.D, CNC, is a respected lecturer and the author of several books on health and nutrition. Her most recent release is 100 Answers to 100 Questions about How to Live Longer (Christian Life).

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