All medications have risks, whether they be a supplement or prescription drug. One example would be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as Advil, Naproxen, Celebrex, or Diclofenac. Many people use these drugs long-term for menstrual cramps, headaches, aches and pains, arthritis or injuries. Long-term use can increase the risk for acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease progression. They also raise the risk for cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke. So it’s been suggested to avoid use of these medications for those with hypertension, heart failure or chronic kidney disease. This is difficult, especially for the elderly who typically have these health conditions but also need pain relief for treatment of osteoarthritis.
In a recent U.K. study, Diclofenac was associated with excess risk for myocardial infarction as opposed to Naproxen. Also, Ketorolac, another NSAID, can adversely affect kidney function more than other NSAIDs. Factor in dehydration, nausea, activity limitations especially after surgery, and acute kidney injury and you can see that the use of these meds can be a real danger.
With the opioid crisis in the forefront, nonnarcotic alternatives for pain control are in high demand. If you need to use an NSAID, there are some like Diclofenac that pose a higher risk for cardiovascular events and GI bleeding compared with other NSAIDs or Tylenol. There is little justification to use Diclofenac before trying other traditional NSAIDs. Better yet, it’s worth trying herbs such as Ginger, Curcumin and Boswellia (AKBA). Combining Boswellia’s activity with Curcumin and Tumeric can offer even higher levels of pain relief. CBD is also an amazing pain reliever if monitored well.
I always advocate plenty of fluids, avoiding food allergens and other inflammatory triggers and getting healthy sleep as the foundation for reducing pain and optimal wellness.
References: Dubreuil M et al. Risk of myocardial infarction with use of selected non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients with spondyloarthritis and osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 2018 Aug; 77: 1137.
Schwenk, T. NSAID use in patients with hypertension, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease. Journal Watch 2018 Nov; Vol. 38 No. 22 p. 180.
Myers, C. Plants for pain relief. Health and Happiness 2019 Feb; p 12.