Patients see a chiropractor because they are in pain, be it back pain, a headache/migraine, neck pain etc… If needs, they have already either: seen their GP for a prescription painkiller, or, their local pharmacist for an over the counter painkiller.
I came across an article on the medscape website titled “NSAIDs: Not as Safe as Patients May Think”.
Medscape is a medical website for healthcare practitioners. This article was a discussion on the dangers of patients not understanding the risks involved when taking a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) painkiller.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Brands
Some common NSAID drug names you may recognise are:
- Diclofenac a.k.a Diclomax®, Defenac®, Diclofex®, Dyloject®, Econac®, Enstar®, Flamrase®, Flamatak®, Motifene®, Rheumatac®, Rhumalgan®, Volsaid®, Voltarol®
- Ibuprofen a.k.a Brufen®; Calprofen®; Nurofen®; Orbifen®; Fenbid®
- Naproxen a.k.a Naprosyn®, Napratec®, Vimovo®
- Celecoxib a.k.a Celebrex®
- Mefenamic acid a.k.a Ponstan®
- Etoricoxib a.k.a Arcoxia®
NSAID Side Effects
Patients who are at a higher risk of complications and side effects from anti-inflammatory medication are:
- The elderly
- Person with kidney disease/condtion
- Person with liver disease/condition
- Someone who has had a heart attack
- If you have a stomach ulcer
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes
Now this is not a complete list from the NHS website
The Best Way to Take Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
If your GP or specialist hospital doctor prescribed the medication for you then they should know the risk/benefit ratios and which type of NSAID you should take and and what dosage. A point highlighted in the medscape article was to discuss with your doctor if you should take a medication with the NSAID to help protect your gastrointestinal tract (stomach and gut).
If you are a marathon runner, crossfitter, golfer, triathlete or any other sport enthusiast who takes a painkiller just in case you feel pain or regularly when you exercise then have you thought of the effect on your kidneys and liver? Should you try a more natural painkiller/anti-inflammatory?
The best advice would be:
Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.
For more advice for the public like yourself check out the info on Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs.