Headaches, back pain, muscle pain—many of us deal with these issues by taking oral medications, particularly NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Because these oral medications are readily available and can be effective in treating pain, we have become quite dependent on them. In fact, some people even take a number of pills and capsules throughout the day just to ensure that their chronic pain will go away.
However, studies conducted throughout the years have shown that taking common oral medications prescribed for pain management is not entirely safe. The use of oral NSAIDs has a number of potential side effects, especially when they are taken frequently. Some side effects, such as nausea, may be less serious. However, NSAIDs can also cause serious damage to our internal organs.
For instance, long-term exposure to oral NSAIDs has been related to gastrointestinal tract bleeding, perforation, and intestinal toxicity. In fact, statistics revealed that about 100,000 Americans are being hospitalized every year because of NSAID-related GI complications. Then, there are also growing concerns about the effects of NSAIDs to our cardiovascular health.
According to studies, frequent use of oral NSAIDs can result in an increased risk of nephrotoxicity, adverse cardiovascular issues, and cartilage degeneration. Also, it has been reported that the heavy use of these pain medications can increase a person’s risk of developing end-stage renal disease by four times, as well as myocardial infarction, heart failure, and hypertension.