About 54.4 million adults in the U.S. have been clinically diagnosed as having arthritis, which is the inflammation of the musculoskeletal, specifically the joints. Many patients that have arthritis are treated with ibuprofen, a non-steroidal drug that reduces inflammation and is commonly used to alleviate arthritis pain. If used correctly and sparingly, medicines that contain ibuprofen can be helpful and do not carry a high risk. However, if used over a long period and at high dosages, these drugs have dangerous side effects and can be very dangerous.
Side effects of excessive and chronic ibuprofen use include:
- Intentional problems such as constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, and bleeding of the stomach or intestines
- Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as one third
- Increase of life-threatening blood clots
- Damage to kidneys resulting in a heart attack or stroke, heart failure, and heart disease
- Studies have shown that chronic use of ibuprofen can lead to a 51% increase in the rate of kidney cancer
Ibuprofen and Pain Medicine Alternatives
Many patients say their prescribed doses of ibuprofen for arthritis pain management barely make a noticeable difference, and they take them because it is part of their routine. In this case, it may be beneficial to avoid the risk of taking such drugs and use alternative methods of arthritis pain relief, such as electrotherapy, meditation, or topical treatments. Physical and occupational therapies can significantly reduce pain and increase the function of joints if taught how to avoid strain properly.
Because these remedies serve as natural arthritis treatments, they're less risky compared to ibuprofen. To see what alternative to ibuprofen for your arthritis, pain management would work for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.