NSAIDs FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS TREATMENT: QUESTIONS ABOUT EFFECTS AND PRESCRIPTION OF THE DRUGSCan NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) cause swelling in my legs?The movement of substances like sodium, an essential mineral, through the body relies on good kidney function. Data show that the NSAIDs can cause sodium to be retained at least for a short time, since this may change with continued use of the drug. If sodium is retained, leg swelling as well as elevated blood pressure may ensue.
What effects can NSAIDs have on my brain?Evidence from ongoing studies shows that NSAIDs, particularly the COX-2-selective agents, improve thinking and the overall condition of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Although research into this aspect of therapy with these drugs is still incomplete, it is clear that improvement in thinking does occur. This, by the way, has nothing to do with inflammation in the brain with this disease, since cortisone given to patients with Alzheimer’s disease has no effect.
Are NSAIDs addictive?While NSAIDs are very effective at relieving pain, they are not narcotics and are not addictive.
Can I use NSAIDs for the treatment of conditions other than arthritis?Yes, these drugs are good for many other problems besides arthritis. For example, NSAIDs can be used to ease pain after surgery, to relieve the pain of sports injuries, and to effectively ease menstrual pain and headaches. Some doctors even use them to relieve pain in patients with cancer. These are just some of the uses of these new drugs.
Might I be allergic to NSAIDs?Yes, some people are allergic to aspirin. These people may experience wheezing and shortness of breath and develop hives after taking the drug. The presence of nasal polyps can suggest allergy to these drugs.
What NSAIDs might be prescribed to me for the treatment of my rheumatoid arthritis?There are numerous such NSAIDs. Here is a list of the most common. The generic name is listed first, followed by the common brand names in parentheses.• aspirin, enteric-coated (Ecotrin)• aspirin, extended release (Zorprin)• celecoxib (Celebrex)• choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate)• diclofenac (Arthrotec, Voltaren)• diflunisal (Dolobid)• etodolac (Lodine)• fenoprofen (Nalfon)• flurbiprofen (Ansaid)• ibuprofen (Motrin)• indomethacin (Indocin)• ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)• meclofenamate sodium (Meclomen)• meloxicam (Mobic)• nabumetone (Relafen)• naproxen (Naprosyn)• naproxen sodium (Anaprox)• oxaprozin (Daypro)• piroxicam (Feldene)• rofecoxib (Vioxx)• salsalate (Disalcid, Mono-Gesic)• sulindac (Clinoril)• tolmetin (Tolectin)*31/141/5*
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