An overview of NSAIDs: definition, types, side effects, replacements and natural alternatives

There may be a moment when a simple painkiller, like acetaminophen, no longer helps to relieve the pain in your joints. At that time, your doctor will prescribe an analgesic anti-inflammatory drug, such as an NSAID. Which is an abbreviation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors use this painkiller in various rheumatic conditions to fight pain and inflammatory reactions. Think about osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, mucous membrane inflammation, Bechterew’s disease, chondrocalcinosis, fibromyalgia, gout, rheumatism, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Thus, millions of people in the United States use an NSAID. High time to highlight the pros and cons of this painkiller.

Acetaminophen versus NSAID’s

In the case of rheumatic symptoms, the doctor will usually start treatment with Acetaminophen. This simple drug is available without prescription and prevents pains transmission to the brain. After ingestion, Acetaminophen works for about 3 to 6 hours. Acetaminophen is a safe drug without any side effects when used properly. With long and high doses of 3 grams per day, this simple painkiller may then cause damage, kidney damage and blood disorders. It is therefore important to read the package leaflet carefully and stick to the right dose.

What are NSAIDs?

As rheumatic disease begins to become worse, Acetaminophen will gradually work less and less well. Despite the use of this drug, the pain will increase. That’s the time your doctor will prescribe an NSAID. These drugs not only reduce the pain, but also fight the inflammatory hearths in and around your joints. The mechanism of action of NSAIDs relies on inhibiting the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins by the enzyme COX (Cyclooxygenase). Prostaglandins are responsible for firing and strengthening of inflammations. The efficacy of an NSAID is good, but only brief. Therefore, many people will keep taking NSAIDs daily to prevent the complaints from getting too much.

Classical and modern NSAIDs

Analgesic anti-inflammatory drugs have been on the market for decades. The first generation, known as classic NSAIDs, includes Diclofenac, Naproxen, and Ibuprofen. These inhibit the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, which play an important role in the conversion of arachidonic acid into the inflammation stimulating prostaglandins. The anti-inflammatory action of classical NSAIDs is mainly attributable to the inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme.

Reducing the production of the COX-1 enzyme is responsible for the damaging effect on the stomach. COX-1 is an enzyme with a protective effect on mucous membranes, including the stomach wall. Therefore, scientists developed modern NSAIDs that only inhibit the enzyme COX-2. Etoricoxib and Celecoxib are examples of modern COX-2 inhibitors. These drugs are thus safer for the stomach than the classical analgesic anti-inflammatory drugs.

Side effects of NSAID’s

Classical NSAIDs inhibit not only inflammations, but also COX-1 enzymes that are important for the protection of the gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to inflammation of the stomach mucosa, nausea, vomiting and even a stomach ulcer with bleeding. The modern NSAIDs only inhibit the COX-2 enzyme and thus disrupt the stomach protective COX-1.

However, studies have not yet proven that these analgesic anti-inflammatory inhibitors are safe. Usually you will still have to use a stomach protector in parallel!

In addition, you should not use NSAIDs in combination with blood thinners (also called anticoagulants). This is due to the increased chance of gastrointestinal bleeding, which is more difficult to stop when blood thinners are used. Using NSAIDs with blood thinners can thus be life-threatening!

Use an NSAID only in consultation with your doctor

living without painConsult your orthopedic surgeon, or GP. Every year, hospitals admit thousands of people due to the hospital because of irresponsible use of NSAIDs. It is therefore not advisable to purchase a non-prescription anti-inflammatory analgesic – such as Advil – at your pharmacy or drugstore on your own. It is important that your doctor chooses and prescribes the most suitable drug for you. He knows exactly what drugs you use and what other health problems you have. With a prescription, you can pick up the most suitable medicine at the pharmacy.

Natural alternatives to pain and inflammation

The pain in your joints is already bad enough. Therefore, many people soon stop using NSAIDs because the side effects of this drug become too much.

If you suffer from side effects of an NSAID, if you do not want, or cannot use NSAIDs for other reasons, you may want to try to use a joint treatment cure based on liquid Green-lipped mussel, Bio-Curcumin and Blackcurrant leaf. Because this product contains only natural ingredients, it is safe to use. It is therefore possible to use it together with NSAIDs. You may also use it with blood thinners (anticoagulants), there are no problems expected.

To date, there have been no reported side effects with the use of this liquid Green-lipped mussel treatment for the joints. The Green-lipped mussel, which can survive exclusively in the clean waters of New Zealand, contains a rich arsenal of Omega-3 fatty acids, including some very rare ones. These are highly structurally similar to arachidonic acid, which COX-2 enzyme converts to inflammatory prostaglandins. However, if sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids are present, this enzyme will convert these fatty acids, rather than arachidonic acid. Subsequently, metabolites will develop which will temper the inflammation, rather than stimulate it.

Also, the Omega-3 fatty acids in liquid Green-lipped mussel can inhibit the activity of the COX-2 enzyme. This also leads to a reduced production of inflammatory prostaglandins. Curcumin and Blackcurrant leaf play a role in reducing and combating inflammation at a different level. More than 70% of users of this fluid cure experience positive effects within 80 days of taking this supplement. They are less affected by pain and swelling and the motility of the joints has improved.


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