A recent study conducted at Temple University has revealed an interesting development regarding the use of NSAID's (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
The Benefits and the Dangers
There is no doubt that NSAID's relieve pain. In fact, they have long been the drug of choice for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. (If you have missed any information, it might be a good time to go back to earlier editions.) NSAID's may be great pain relievers but they are without a doubt "dangerous," particularly when used over a long period of time.
Of course, the inherent danger is that if you get pain relief, you will continue to use them. There is also the risk that you will begin taking too many of them. That is where the real problems come in. The relief may be good, but the risks are serious.
On the low end of the scale, heartburn occurs. On the high end of the scale, there is a risk of damage to internal organs; bleeding and even death. Historically, the problem is that those who get pain relief take more and more to increase that relief.
Boosting the Power and Lowering the Risk
What this study found was that those who are using glucosamine and were taking ibuprofen (an NSAID) got greater pain relief. In other words, the power of ibuprofen increased.
The purpose of this study was to determine if glucosamine blocked pain. What the research showed was that it did block pain but that it was a result of its ability to repair damage. The second part of the study was to determine if the performance of NSAID's improved while using glucosamine; clearly, it did. The findings were as follows.
Various levels of NSAID's were combined with glucosamine. Adding Naproxen caused it to increase its pain-killing capabilities. It increased its additive qualities. When aspirin or acetaminophen was used, the results were lessened (subadditive or less than the drugs' properties.) When ibuprofen was combined with glucosamine, the pain relief became "synergistic" or enhanced.
As more studies are conducted, the researchers will be seeking to explore the real impact of these findings. Namely, that using smaller quantities of a given NSAID will provide greater relief and at the same time, lower the risks from using them.
I am squarely against the use of NSAID's as this series clearly indicates. For me, the greatest tool in our arsenal against arthritis pain is liquid glucosamine that has the right synergistic ingredients working together. In short, using a high-quality product should take care of your pain without the need to resort to using NSAID's.
On the other hand, the research at Temple tends to show that there may be some benefit to combining the proper use of NSAIDs with taking glucosamine. However, the Temple researchers were not focused on the safety dangers of NSAIDs and did not attempt to analyze whether any possible benefit of using NSAIDs with glucosamine would outweigh avoiding the inherent dangers of NSAIDs by using glucosamine by itself.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®
Last updated: 1/31/05