Health professionals in Australia are taking notice of a recent European study¹ which has demonstrated a link between ibuprofen and an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in patients suffering arthritis.
The study, released in August of this year by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), found that patients receiving ibuprofen had a 61% higher incidence of de novo hypertension compared to those receiving celecoxib.
Leading the research project was Professor Frank Ruschitzka, professor of cardiology and co-head, Department of Cardiology, University Heart Centre, Zurich, Switzerland.
“NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), particularly ibuprofen, may be not as safe as previously thought,” Professor Ruschitzka said, “Patients should continue to consult their doctor before taking NSAIDs or coxibs and clinicians need to weigh the potential hazards of worsening blood pressure control when considering the use of these agents.”
Pain management options for arthritis sufferers
Aside from ibuprofen, there are numerous prescription and non-prescription medications available on the market to help arthritis sufferers manage pain. Many of these are effective, however all painkillers have the potential to do harm depending on a person’s particular health condition and other medications the person may be taking. For this reason it is important for arthritis sufferers to always consult with their doctor before starting a new type of pain medication. This advice extends to those medications that can be bought from any supermarket and commonly thought of as being extremely safe, such as aspirin and paracetamol.
Some arthritis sufferers have reported success with natural pain relief measures such as:
- gentle exercise like Tai Chi
- experimenting with anti-inflammatory diets
- weight loss
- heat or cold therapy
- physical therapy
While these lifestyle measures have been found effective for mild to moderate pain associated with arthritis, stronger pain often requires some form of medication.
Could compounding offer the solution?
We humans are a diverse lot and our bodies come in an infinite range of sizes, BMIs, drug tolerance levels and pain tolerance levels. Sometimes one-size-fits-all medication does not cater to nuances in our body chemistry. This is where a compounding chemist can help. A compounding chemist may offer a solution for pain sufferers struggling with the side effects of their pain medication. By working with a compounding chemist, healthcare professionals are able to customise pain medication to address their patient’s specific needs. We can adjust dosages to the exact amount required by the patient and work towards reducing uncomfortable side-effects
For people struggling with capsule or tablets, a compounding chemist can prepare the medication as a topical gel, cream, spray or suppository. Delivering medication in these ways bypasses the gastrointestinal tract which may help to alleviate some side-effects. We can also prepare a flavoured troche that dissolves under the tongue.
For more information on customised pain medication visit National Custom Compounding’s website www.customcompounding.com.au or contact one of the friendly team on 1300 731 755.