Vioxx: The Pros and Cons of Other Drugs (cont.)
"Getting an accurate diagnosis and reversing known reversible causes is the first part of the treatment," says Jason Theodosakis, MD, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and author of the 1996 bestseller The Arthritis Cure, now in a revised edition. "Too often a person will have joint pain, and just assume it's arthritis, or they may have five minutes with their doctor, who says, 'You have a touch of arthritis here. Take a pain reliever.'"
In fact, Theodosakis says lifestyle changes such as weight loss and low-impact exercise are essential to relieve the pain often caused by arthritis. Even treating depression seems to help relieve pain. Pain relievers should be your last resort, he says. "The goal in treatment is really to use those drugs later down the road when everything else fails."
With that caveat, what are your options now if you do need pain relief medicine? Here, briefly, are the pros and cons of each type of common pain relief medicine.
Next: The Pros and Cons of Other Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
The Pros and Cons of Older Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are some of the most common medicines taken for general aches and pains, as well as for arthritis. There are more than a dozen NSAIDs that you can take for just about every cause of pain, from arthritis to headaches to pulled muscles. The NSAIDs you're probably most familiar with are those available without a prescription. They include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), ketoprofen (Orudis KT), and naproxen (Aleve).