As a pharmacist of 22 yrs I’m well aware of the dangers associated with prescription drugs. However, the benefits of these dangerous drugs usually outweigh the risks. For example, one of the most dangerous drugs on the market is warfarin, a blood thinner. This dangerous drug is also a rodent poison. It’s deadly, however, this rat poison thins the blood and prevents blood clots that would normally result in fatal strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolism. My point is that often we knowingly take dangerous drugs because they do more good than harm depending on the situation.
However, I have to tell of a dangerous situation that people are unknowingly putting themselves in. People who have had heart attacks, strokes, and heart surgery are taking NSAIDS like ibuprofen and Naprosyn and at risk of dying. And we all know how final death is…right? That’s why I’m writing this blog. I know so many good people who don’t understand what’s going on and are accidentally putting themselves at risk. There are better choices.
But the real question is why don’t more people know about this interaction? The FDA has put out numerous warnings and alerts. Maybe the FDA should take more action, IDK. I think the FDA needs to take some of these drugs off the market. In 2004 and 2005 two drugs, Vioxx and Bextra were taken off the market because they were associated with a high rate of death. Then in 2011 a study was done evaluating all the NSAIDS and looking to see which ones cause the most deaths and how soon after starting did the deaths occur. Well, it was discovered in this study that one of the drugs still on the market…diclofenac….was EVEN MORE DEADLY and dangerous than the ones taken off the market. Yet, to this day diclofenac is still on the market? Why? Because it takes a lot of energy to generate change. Who has the time and energy to campaign against this deadly drug diclofenac? I wish I did, but I’ve got a busy life with people who need me. This is the study http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/20/2226.long
So what’s the solution? In my opinion, it is to educate people that the NSAIDs are deadly and most deadly to People who have coronary artery disease (known angina or who have had a heart attack), people who have high blood pressure, and people who have had a stroke are at the greatest risk. Also, people who have just had cardiovascular bypass surgery. These people should be using alternate drugs and dietary supplements for pain and inflammation.
One such supplement that has appeared in my newsletters and databases is Tumeric. It was put to a comparative test against diclofenac and came out superior. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780?dopt=Abstract It was used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis wich involves pain, redness, and swelling of the joints. Several of these measurements were recorded in the study and turmeric did very well. There are other reports that Tumeric works even better when combined with other dietary supplements. I encourage all my readers to go to Consumerlabs.com and look for a Tumeric product that has been tested to be what it says it is. Please see my blog on supplements to know if you are getting a legitimate dietary supplement that is what it says it is.
One product to STAY AWAY from is glucosamine/chondroitin. In my newsletters and databases I frequently get study results saying that it works by the placebo effect. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847017?dopt=Abstract I asked one of my colleagues
about it who just got out of pharmacy school and she said that the professors in school told her the same thing. It works by the placebo effect. It’s products like this that confuse consumers and they don’t know which way to turn. Keep reading my blogs and I will tell you everything I know. (I make NO money from writing these blogs. I do what I do because of people like my parents who are hard-working, good, and UNeducated in medicine. There is no shame in not knowing medicine. You can’t go to business school, law school, AND pharmacy school. My parents rely on me to steer them in the right direction. And I loving the response. I’ll do the same for you if you want, K? 🙂
More pain medication alternatives: Ask your doctor about, lidocaine patch. This product requires a prescription and you can put it on your back, your shoulder, or anywhere you have chronic pain. Also, diclofenac GEL. Yes, you heard right, the deadly drug in a pill form also comes in a topical gel and that is very effective in reducing pain without causing deadly side effects.
Over the counter pain medications, aspirin, Tylenol, topical sports rubs including capsaicin which is a concentrated chili extract that over-stimulates the nerves so they don’t transmit pain. There are others.
Also, alternatives to NSAIDS are narcotics which cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, impaired thinking. You want to choose pain meds that help to keep living. Avoid drugs that stop you from living. Avoid drugs that cause you to withdrawal from people to isolate yourself. Sometimes narcotics can do that if you’re not mentally prepared for the side effects. Controlled substances with the fewest side effects are Tramadol and Lyrica. I’d use those first before I’d use codeine, Percocet, hydromorphone, morphine…etc
Use medications to benefit you and keep you living life to the fullest. Don’t let medications rob you of your life and wellbeing. Stay well, and stay well-informed. You do have choices. Choose wisely. xoxo