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Arthritis Drugs are often prescribed - but are they your best option?

Learn About Prescription Drugs and Make Informed Decisions



Arthritis Drugs

It's important to stress that while pharmaceutical drugs can sometimes help ease the pain of arthritis - that is the extent of what they are capable of doing. In no way do they contribute to the rehabilitation of damaged joints and cartilage, or in any manner halt the progression of the disease. They are intended as short term pain relief only.

As a matter of fact, it has been proven that many arthritis drugs can have very serious side effects.

This page and the related pages on this website strive to provide unbiased information to help you be informed about the pro's and con's of your treatment options so you can make the best decisions for your specific circumstances.
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Subject matter Quick Links for this page…

1) Cox-II pain relievers
2) Acetaminophen
3) NSAIDs
4) Salicylates


Cox-II pain relievers

If you have a confirmed arthritis diagnosis such as osteoarthritis, it is not uncommon for your physician to either prescribe a Cox-II inhibitor (like Celebrex) or to recommend the use of over-the-counter drug remedies.

Introduced in 1998, COX II inhibitors are a relatively new family of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Though not necessarily more effective at reducing inflammation and pain than older, traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and naproxen, they represented an advance over the older drugs because they were believed to cause less stomach irritation.

However, COX-2 inhibitors are still classified as NSAIDS. Some doctors recommended that you not take them on an empty stomach.

They are called COX-2 inhibitors because they block an enzyme called "Cyclooxygenase". "Cyclooxygenase" is believed to trigger pain and inflammation in the body. If you block the COX-2, you block the inflammation.

- Common brand names for COX II drugs are Vioxx and Celebrex

- Important points to consider related to Cox-II pain relievers

- Cox II warnings

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Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen, is a common analgesic and antipyretic drug that is used for the relief of fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pains. Paracetamol is also useful in managing more severe pain, allowing lower dosages of additional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioid analgesics to be used, thereby minimizing overall side-effects. It is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu medications, as well as many prescription analgesics. It is safe for human use in recommended doses, but because of its wide availability, deliberate or accidental overdoses are fairly common.

- Common brand names for the drug include Tylenol and Datril®.

- Important points to consider related to Acetaminophen

- Acetaminophen warnings

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NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, usually abbreviated to NSAIDs, are drugs with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects - they reduce pain, fever and inflammation. The term "non-steroidal" is used to distinguish these drugs from steroids, which (amongst a broad range of other effects) have a similar eicosanoid-depressing, anti-inflammatory action. NSAIDS are unusual in that they are non-narcotic. NSAIDs are sometimes also referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents/analgesics (NSAIAs). The most prominent members of this group of drugs are aspirin and ibuprofen. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) has negligible anti-inflammatory activity, and is strictly speaking not an NSAID.

- Aspirin, Ibuprofren (Advil® and Motrin®) and Naproxen (Aleve® and Naprosyn®) are a few of the many “brand names” of NSAIDs.

- Important points to consider related to NSAID's (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

- NSAIDs warnings

Of note… the government is showing serious concern about the use of this class of pain reliever. There have been numerous warnings issued by government officials and there continue to be more and more label "precautions" added to these products.

Some documented negative side effects are reported cases of ulcers developing; fever; sore throats; breathing difficulties; irregular heartbeat; and even high blood pressure.

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Salicylates

Salicylates are used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Most salicylates are also used to relieve some symptoms caused by arthritis (rheumatism), such as swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. However, they do not cure arthritis and will help you only as long as you continue to take them.

Salicylates may also be used to lessen the chance of heart attack, stroke, or other problems that may occur when a blood vessel is blocked by blood clots. Aspirin helps prevent dangerous blood clots from forming. However, this effect may increase the chance of serious bleeding in some people. Therefore, Salicylates should be used for this purpose only when your doctor decides, after studying your medical condition and history, that the danger of blood clots is greater than the risk of bleeding.

- The most commonly used form of Salicylate is Aspirin.

- Important points to consider related to Salicylates

- Salicylates warnings


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The bottom-line...

You need to be informed so that you can weigh all of your options and make intelligent and informed decisions about the treatment regimen that you choose to pursue in your efforts to combat your joint pain.

If you should decide to utilize Pharmaceutical drugs as part of your approach, then do so in a measured and closely monitored manner but be sure to explore your Natural alternatives also.

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