Relationship Between NSAIDs and Arthritis
NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammation Drugs) are drugs that reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Inflammation is the body’s response to irritation or injury, and is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain.
NSAIDs are safest when taken in low doses for brief periods. Side effects occur by taking large doses over a prolonged time. NSAID manufacturers revised their labels to include more information on potential heart attack and stomach bleeding risks associated with NSAID use. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat a variety of conditions capable of causing inflammation, one of which includes arthritis.
NSAIDs, both over-the-counter and prescription, can be used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis (joint swelling, stiffness, and pain). People suffering from arthritis have typically taken one of these drugs at one time or another.
Overview of Arthritis
The majority of adults associate arthritis as a “later in life” disease. In fact, Arthritis is very common. It has been estimated that as many as 70 million Americans have some form of arthritis or joint inflammation. Arthritis is a major cause of lost work time and serious disability for employees.
Arthritis is a condition that is defined by the inflammation of the joints. Where bone come together in the joints, bones are covered with smooth, spongy material called cartilage, which serves as cushioning for the bones and allows the joint to move without pain. Inflammation that lasts for an extended or periodic time, as in cases of arthritis, often leads to tissue damage in the joint, the inability of the bones to move smoothly and chronic pain.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is not a single disease; rather it is a group of over 100 conditions that cause pain, stiffness, and/or swelling of the joints. Approximately 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, two types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, occurring when cartilage wears away from the end of the bones. Without the protection of the cartilage, the bones begin to rub against each other, resulting in friction that can lead to pain and swelling. Although osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, it is most often found to affect the joints of the hands, knee, and hip.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a long-lasting disease that can affect joints in any part of the body. It is most often found to affect the joints of the hands, wrists, and knees. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis experience a natural immune system response that causes the joint lining to swell. The inflammation spreads to the surrounding tissues and eventually damages the cartilage and bone.
The key to treating any type of arthritis is early diagnosis. When detected early enough, most types of arthritis can be managed and the pain and disability minimized. Early diagnosis and treatment of the inflammatory condition may also be able to prevent severe tissue damage caused by arthritis.
Doctors prescribe NSAIDs in varying dosage levels dependent on the severity of the sufferer’s condition. The dosage range can vary from one to four times per day, depending on how long NSAID stays in the patient’s system. Doctors often prescribe higher doses of NSAIDs for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers because the condition leads to a significant degree of heat, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Early, aggressive treatment is important for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers in order to prevent further damage. Lower NSAID doses are typically adequate for osteoarthritis and muscle injuries, since there is less swelling and no warmth in the joints.
NSAIDs have no guarantee of success in treating arthritis. Doctors typically prescribe several types of NSAIDs before determining the most effective medication to relieve the discomfort.
Drug manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of their products before marketing them for public consumption. Failure to do so is considered negligent and grounds for personal injury litigation. The Pensacola personal injury attorneys of Aylstock, Witkin Kreis & Overholtz handle national litigation across the United States for victims injured by defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They have successfully represented and obtained substantial compensation for a number of patients who have been harmed by drugs. Contact AWKO law today at (844) 794-7402 to get more information about your rights as a NSAIDs injury victim.