Skip to main content

Aspirin: The first NSAID


 Aspirin: The first NSAID

 







The origin of aspirin can be traced back to the era of Hippocrates, where historical records indicate the use of extracts of willow bark and spirea for relief of headache, pain and fever.
Many years later, in the mid to late 1800s, chemists in France and Germany identified and then synthesized the active component of these extracts: Salicylic acid.  Hence, modern day aspirin was born!

In the years that followed, aspirin gained popularity in use for pain and fever reduction. In the late 1950s, acetaminophen became a popular alternative for pain and fever, while aspirin gained popularity as an anti platelet agent for prevention of heart attack and stroke. In later years, other NSAID(Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) and the COX- 2 inhibitors came onto the marketplace for treatment of pain, fever and inflammation. Aspirin is still widely used for prevention of clot formation by many patients, and chronic pain patients are no exception to the rule. While we all are familiar with aspirin, some examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac. Currently the only COX-2 inhibitor on the US marketplace is celecoxib.

It is important to keep this in mind-- that there are three general side effects of aspirin that are of concern. It is perfectly fine to use aspirin for a clot prevention when taking NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs for pain, but the side effect profiles are are very similar and taking both drugs simultaneously will increase the risk of those side effects.  It is probably best to use NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs as needed, keeping in mind that "less is more."  Here are the three main reasons of concern:

1) Gastrointestinal issues: All NSAIDs including aspirin are capable of causing GI disturbances.  In addition to upset stomach, more serious issues, such as ulcers, can occur.
COX-2 drugs are gentler to the GI tract than the other classes of drugs.

2) Bleeding issues:  All NSAIDs ,including aspirin and COX-2 inhibitor drugs can cause bleeding issues because they all have some anti platelet activity.

3) Kidney and Liver issues:  All NSAIDs, including aspirin, and COX-2 inhibitor drugs have the potential to cause kidney or liver damage.  This is especially important for people who have hypertension, heart disease, or preexisting kidney or liver damage.

Sources: Wikipedia, Drugs.com,Nursing Times







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:


Sources: prweb;NorthJersey.com;YouTube


Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.





Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.




The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…