NSAIDs: not a good drug for many people


What are NSAIDs?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, Motrin IB®), Naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®), Nabumetone (Relafen®) and COX-2 inhibitor Celecoxib (Celebrex®).

What is the problem with it?

It’s been shown that there is a small increase for cardiovascular risks associated with NSAIDs. While people can deny the result because it is based on a meta-analyses, which doesn’t usually draw solid conclusions, it is still the responsibility of physicians to know about it. Or if you are a patient, you should mention this to your doctor when it comes to your concern. NSAIDs also increase blood pressure about 5 mmHg by average, through the constrictive effects on some small arteries.

Aspirin is still the only safe NSAID with exact the same chemical structure as in the willow bark and willowsweet; while all the another NSAIDs have chemical modifications to enhance the pain soothing effects.

Doctors knows about the risks, but might not all.

Family doctors know well being cautious with NSAIDs with gastric ulcers, kidney dysfunction and hypertension, but for the cardiovascular risk they are not notified with the confirmed risk. Again, being aware is important.

And there are substitutes such as S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) that has been shown as effective as Celecoxib for arthritis pain, even though the onset of action is slower. For pain management, refer to my article “drugless treatment for chronic pain“.