How NSAIDs Can Actually Worsen Arthritis
In addition to the side effects, there is another, potentially serious concern related to NSAIDs. Based on animal experiments, there is evidence that NSAIDs can actually damage cartilage.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) is a class of medications taken to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Human and animal patients with arthritis take them to reduce joint inflammation, thereby permitting an improved quality of life with more freedom of movement. There are more than one hundred different NSAID medications available for sale or being researched. Nonprescription NSAIDs include such familiar drugs as Advil, Aleve, Nuprin, Excedrin-IB, Midol 200, aspirin, Motrin, and Orudis. This class of medications is the most commonly recommended by veterinarians for the treatment of musculoskeletal and arthritic conditions.
These drugs can make it possible to reduce and terminate other medications that have more severe side affects, such as corticosteroids. The recommended prescription NSAIDs for dogs include Carprofen (sold as Rimadyl) and etodolac (sold as Etogesic).
Side Effects of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in general are well tolerated by most pets. Careful monitoring is still recommended, though, because they do have more potentially dangerous side effects: gastrointestinal bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and cramps. NSAIDs can also damage the liver or kidneys, which may aggravate preexisting hypertension.
In addition to the side effects, there is another, potentially serious concern related to NSAIDs. Based on animal experiments, there is evidence that NSAIDs can actually damage cartilage, which, of course, makes existing osteoarthritis worse. This can happen in two ways. Some NSAIDs slow cartilage repair and increase cartilage destruction. In addition, just by minimizing the pain in a damaged joint, they can encourage excess activity and further damage the cartilage.
To avoid these problems, the use of NSAIDs should be limited. And the best way to do that is to combine NSAIDs with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, decreasing the amount of painkillers as discomfort and limping disappear and cartilage is repaired. This approach makes good sense.