Arthritis Treatment Update (cont.)
The warning is a bit different for over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen. For these drugs there is a note on the label to not take them for more than 10 days without your doctor knowing. They don't seem to really cause heart problems at the over-the-counter doses, but with long-term use such problems may be possible. In addition they shouldn't be used long term without your doctor knowing, due to the risk of causing stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Some people have pain after receiving the injections and there is of course the risk of infection. But overall they are well tolerated. How well they work is up for debate. Some doctors feel they certainly have a role while others feel that they don't offer much help. The response definitely seems to differ from one patient to another.
As for the OA, it already sounds like that's somewhat severe. It's impossible to really know the long-term outlook because everyone is different. But if you notice any numbness or weakness in your arms you need to let your doctor know. Your arms would be more likely affected with that area of your spine. Otherwise if you notice increased pain let your doctor know.
As for alternative treatments, acupuncture has been shown to help. In addition, supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to help with knee osteoarthritis pain; these supplements have even been shown to help build cartilage but they have to be taken constantly. If you stop them the effects will likely go away.
The 100 milligrams of Celebrex is a very low dose. So if you're concerned about possible side effects on the heart the risk is quite low. That is unless you already have heart problems. There has actually never been shown to be any risk with 200 milligrams of Celebrex a day on the heart and that's twice the dose you're taking.
As for ibuprofen, you can still have side effects even if you take it with meals. Taking it with meals may help with the stomach irritation but using it long-term can still cause stomach problems such as ulcers and bleeding.
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