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More Precautions and Approaches to Using NSAIDs
Last review: 08/12/10  JR Rogers

As our readers know, I am dead set against the use of NSAIDs. Over the counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are now being implicated in possible cardiac complications just as Vioxx and Celebrex have been. Of course, Bextra is on that list too.

Some of You Know but Don't Care

I understand that some of you will use NSAIDs to handle pain issues. For those with osteoarthritis who are using a high-quality liquid glucosamine product you should have your arthritis pain under control. That does not mean that you will not use NSAIDs for other pain issues.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

One major downside is that NSAIDs can cause a lot of gastrointestinal distress that can range from an upset stomach to intestinal bleeding. So the answer is to take proactive steps to protect yourself if you insist on using them.

Got Ulcers?

For those who suffer from ulcers, a doctor may be inclined to prescribe Cytotec which both reduces the risk and heals existing ulcers. Also, the FDA recently approved Prevacid NapraPac which contains both Prevacid and Naproxen together. Now, that sounds like a somewhat smarter approach to this issue if you insist on using NSAIDs.

Lower the Dose and Avoid Alcohol

Doctors often report that taking lower doses can avoid the stomach problems for NSAID users. And it goes without saying that consuming alcohol, in any form, when using them is risky. It can greatly enhance the chances of internal bleeding. Also, avoid increasing the number of pills you take. In this case, less is definitely better.

Use Food as the Platform

If you are going to use them, take them with food; it does not have to be a full meal but rather, can be a little bread or crackers with the NSAID. Hey, it's just softening the blow a little, right?

Other Medications and Potential Problems

For those on Coumadin or other prescription medications, you may be increasing the risk of internal bleeding when using NSAIDs.

Switch Brands

Some doctors also report that while certain NSAIDs will adversely affect someone, a different brand may not bother them at all. This is a tough issue. Which one is the safest?

Late Night is Best

If you have to use them, doctors say the best time to do so is later in the day. No one has given me a satisfactory reason for that but that is what they say.

As always, be safe.