Arthritis Drug Dangers

Doctors prescribe many types of painkillers – NSAIDS, acetaminophen and more – all with inherent dangers. Fortunately, Mother Nature provides us with several excellent natural painkillers.

Arthritis is the number one cause of long-term disability in North America. Over 55 million people are affected by arthritis and two hundred thousand of those are children. The most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Most physicians believe arthritis is incurable, and treat only the symptoms. The end result of arthritis is destruction of the cartilage that covers the surface of bones. Inflammation occurs, causing pain and swelling. Doctors prescribe many types of painkillers – NSAIDS, acetaminophen and more – all with inherent dangers.

Serious Side Effects from NSAIDS
Many brands of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are prescribed to control the pain associated with arthritis. Individuals taking these medications may not be aware of the side effects. Over 20 percent will get an ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding or, more seriously, kidney and liver damage. Over 120,000 people per year are hospitalized from the side effects of NSAIDS in North America.

Joint damage is another side effect from long-term use of NSAIDS. Yes, you read that correctly! NSAIDS cause joint destruction. Doesn’t it seem strange that you are taking these painkillers for the pain associated with the joint destruction caused by your arthritis and the NSAIDS prescribed by your doctor actually cause joint destruction? It is very clear in the published research. One study found that after examining the xrays of 294 hips that the hip joints of patients taking NSAIDS had greater joint destruction than those of patients not taking NSAIDS.

New Cox-2 Inhibitor Not so Safe
Celebrex, a new type of NSAID that is touted as much safer than the NSAIDS mentioned above, may not in fact be so safe. Research performed at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center has found that Celebrex may increase your risk of heart attack and/or stroke. Celebrex is a sulfa drug, like some antibiotics and oral diabetes drugs, and those with sulfa allergies must avoid it. Sulfa allergies affect five percent of the population. Many arthritis sufferers taking Celebrex have found that the gastrointestinal problems they had with NSAIDS still occur when taking Celebrex. Dr. Simon Huang, a Vancouver rheumatologist who led local clinical trials on Celebrex, states, “Although Celebrex has been found to reduce ulcers in the upper GI tract, the effects on the lower GI tract are unknown.” In July Health Canada issued a warning about Celebrex. Ten deaths and over 70 cases of severe gastrointestinal bleeding have occurred in Canadians taking Celebrex over the last three years. Has it encouraged Health Canada to withdraw this dangerous drug – the answer no!

Acetaminophen Dangers
Acetaminophen, used to relieve pain has its dangerous side effects. Unintentional overdoses are very common. If you are in severe pain you may be tempted to take too many acetaminophen tablets. Follow the dosing recommendations carefully. Liver toxicity can occur even when taking as little as two extra doses per day combined with alcoholic beverages.

Nutrients to the Rescue
Mother Nature provides us with several excellent natural painkillers, including curcumin (also called Tumeric), MSM, glucosamine sulfate, boswellia, white willow bark to name a few. Read Healthy Immunity, Scientifically Proven Natural Treatments for Conditions from A-Z for more information on natural anti-inflammatory nutrients and arthritis.

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