Can you imagine taking a drug made from tarantula venom?
UC Davis researchers hope to turn a poisonous peptide from the Peruvian green velvet tarantula into a new type of pain relief medication. Their study is part of the HEAL Initiative, which aims to end opioid addiction.
The not-so-good news is it will take some time before you can get your hands on this new drug. However, you still have a lot of options to choose from, including anti-inflammatory drugs.
Here, we’ll talk about some benefits and drawbacks of NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. We’ll also discuss some tips for using NSAIDs safely.
Pros of NSAIDs
Inflammatory conditions such as headaches, sprains, after surgery aches, and so on cause the body to release prostaglandins. Now, during inflammation, prostaglandins sensitize nerve endings. When this happens, the pain sensation increases.
NSAID medications work by blocking prostaglandins. They also help bring down fevers. Besides being effective at managing inflammation, NSAIDs also help with stiffness, which is why they’re often the first line of treatment for arthritis.
Other advantages of NSAIDs include their accessibility and relatively low prices compared to other pain meds. They’re also non-addictive, unlike opioids.
Cons of NSAIDs
While it’s great that NSAIDs are widely available, it doesn’t mean they’re 100% safe to take.
Long-term use of NSAID medications can cause gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and gas. That’s because these drugs block COX-1, a prostaglandin that helps protect the stomach lining. In some cases, overuse of NSAIDs can cause the stomach lining to erode, resulting in ulcers.
Another danger of taking NSAIDS is their link to cardiovascular conditions. With frequent use, you could be increasing your risk of developing a heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. NSAIDs also have interactions with specific drugs, including warfarin, lithium, diuretics, etc.
Some Tips for Using Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
If you plan to give an NSAID to a child, be sure you’ve consulted with a pediatrician first. Even if it’s an over-the-counter product, keep in mind that dosage for children is weight-based.
Another tip to remember is to read the labels. Some cold and flu medications have a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory component already. If you’re taking a separate NSAID for another condition, you could go over the safe limit for dosages, and you’ll also increase your risk of adverse reactions.
Last, don’t forget to consult a specialist. Perhaps your pain symptoms can be relieved through other means. For example, advanced regenerative orthopedics can help lessen your reliance on traditional anti-inflammatory drugs.
Do You Need Help Managing Your Pain?
Anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve pain symptoms but don’t forget that pain management isn’t all about medications. It’s worth learning about various strategies that can help you deal with your condition.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to consult a pain specialist. You can also ask them if they know of natural pain relief methods.
For more health tips and advice, you can check our other posts. We also have tons of articles about beauty, lifestyle, and more, which might interest you.