Joint Pain Forum – News you can use!
Arthritis Drugs - Is the Cure Worse Than the
May 16, 2007
Research is always ongoing into new and
better medications for arthritis which is a very good thing. But where
is all this leading us?
Of course we need effective pain
medication for arthritis to enable sufferers to live normal lives. But
are all these expensive medications controlling the disease or simply
masking the symptoms?
Here’s a “quick and dirty” lowdown on
what’s currently available both “over the counter” (OTC) and on
For mild cases of arthritis -
Some milder cases of arthritis never make it into
the doctor’s surgery. Indeed the sufferer might not even be aware that
they are suffering from arthritis at all. They may be feeling a few
“aches and pains” which they put down to old age or even the cold damp
That may be all well and good, but even
OTC medications can be dangerous if taken over a long period of time.
The concept of “more is better” can also happen if the pain gradually
becomes worse. This can lead to serious side effects.
OTC medications include aspirin and
ibuprofen. These medications can cause intestinal bleeding and kidney
damage in large doses. Aspirin also destroys vitamin C in the body
leading to lower immunity.
For More Advanced Arthritis-
By this stage most people have consulted
their doctor. Prescription medication at this stage normally consists
of the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. These do target
the pain and inflammation of arthritis symptoms but have a range of
side effects including stomach upset, abdominal pain, and ulcers.
People with high blood pressure, those
with kidney problems and especially people who have heart problems are
especially at risk with NSAIDS.
Enter the COX-2 inhibitors. These have
been designed for people whose stomach problems cannot tolerate the
above. Unfortunately the risks remain for chest pain, heart attack and
For those suffering extreme pain and
swelling the medical profession brings out the heavy artillery -
Corticosteroids. These drugs contain man made cortisone and can be
injected directly into the affected joints or taken orally.
Long term use of these can produce sleep
problems, weight gain, osteoporosis and loss of immunity. Also
available to those for whom nothing else seems to work are Biologic
Response Modifiers (Biologics). Biologics are derived from live
sources, plants and animals and are not manufactured chemically. They
are mainly used for sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis and are given
intravenously or by injection. They can’t be taken in tablet form.
Biologics suppress the immune system which
leaves people prone to infections. They are also very expensive and
can’t be stored without freezing.
Also available mainly to Rheumatoid
Arthritis sufferers are Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS)
These work by stopping the immune system from attacking the joints.
DMARDS may take up to three months to reduce symptoms but they do help
to stop joint damage even though they can’t repair any previous damage.
Although these drugs are a boon to many,
they work mainly at masking the symptoms of arthritis and can’t reverse
the damage already caused. Most people thinks this is impossible, it
Natural treatments for arthritis do exist
and can significantly stop some cases of arthritis, relieve pain and
inflammation and in some cases, reverse joint damage.
Definitely worth a try!
Map | CONTACT