Tags: Arthritis | arthritis | pain relievers | over-the-counter

Over-the-Counter Arthritis Pain Relievers: What Your Pharmacist May Not Tell You

By    |   Tuesday, 03 May 2016 06:58 PM

If you suffer from arthritis, many pain relievers are available that can be taken without the supervision of a pharmacist. The benefits of over-the-counter drugs are easy accessibility and affordability, but before you reach for these drugs, there are some things you should know about their risks.

The most common drugs used in the treatment of arthritis pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen, which are available over-the-counter. These drugs are best used intermittently, as long-term continuous use can have severe side effects such as stomach bleeding and kidney damage, says Everyday Health. They should also be taken with food since they cause stomach upset and nausea for many patients.

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According to WebMD, the lower dosages of NSAIDs available over-the-counter are not as effective at treating the inflammation common with arthritis sufferers. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration cautions against their long-term use because they can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly for people who have already had a heart attack prior to taking NSAIDs.

Patient.info says that even though a great variety of over-the-counter arthritis pain relievers are available, it is a good idea to consult your pharmacist or doctor if you have any of the following:

• Asthma (some pain relievers can make asthma worse or increase the frequency of flare-ups)
• Stomach ulcer or frequent indigestion
• Ulcerative colitis, one form of inflammatory bowel disease
• Bleeding or blood clotting disorder
• Kidney or liver disease

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You should also tell your pharmacist or doctor what other drugs you are taking, since even over-the-counter products can have serious interactions with other medications.

WebMD also says that in addition to conventional NSAIDs for arthritis pain, your pharmacist may be able to help you choose some supplements that can provide relief.

The most popular supplements for joint pain are glucosamine and chondroitin. While these supplements are not regulated by the FDA, they are generally regarded as safe and pose little risk of side effects for most patients.

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If you suffer from arthritis, many pain relievers are available that can be taken without the supervision of a pharmacist. The benefits of over-the-counter drugs are easy accessibility and affordability, but before you reach for these drugs, there are some things you should know about their risks.
arthritis, pain relievers, over-the-counter
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2016-58-03
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 06:58 PM
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