This article was taken directly from the FDA website and highlights the risks you assume when you ingest any over the counter medicines...
Next time you reach into the medicine cabinet seeking relief for a headache, backache or arthritis, be aware of important safety information for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
FDA is strengthening an existing warning in prescription drug labels and over-the-counter (OTC) Drug Facts labels to indicate that non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, either of which can lead to death. Those serious side effects can occur as early as the first few weeks of using an NSAID, and the risk might rise the longer people take NSAIDs. (Although aspirin is also an NSAID, this revised warning doesn’t apply to aspirin.)
The OTC drugs in this group are used for the temporary relief of pain and fever. The prescription drugs in this group are used to treat several kinds of arthritis and other painful conditions. Because many prescrip- tion and OTC medicines contain NSAIDs, consumers should avoid taking multiple remedies with the same active ingredient.
The Risks and What’s New
Prescription NSAIDs are an important treatment for the symptoms of many debilitating conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and other rheu- matological and painful conditions. OTC NSAIDs are used to temporar- ily reduce fever and to treat minor aches and pains such as headaches, toothaches, backaches, muscular aches, tendonitis, strains, sprains and menstrual cramps. Common OTC NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). In addition, some combination medicines that relieve various symptoms, such as multi-symptom cold products, contain NSAIDs.
“Be careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time,” says Karen M. Mahoney, M.D., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. How will you know? Check the list of active ingredients in the Drug Facts label (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/ resourcesforyou/ucm133411.htm).
The labels for both prescription NSAIDs and OTC NSAIDs already have information on heart attack and stroke risk. In the coming months, FDA will require manufacturers of prescription NSAIDs to update their labels with more specific information about heart attack and stroke risks. FDA will also request that the manufacturers of OTC NSAIDs update the heart attack and stroke risk information in Drug Facts labels.
FDA added a boxed warning to prescription drug labels for this risk in 2005. More recent data and information are prompting FDA to update NSAID labeling. Today we know that the risk of heart attack and stroke may occur early in treatment, even in the first weeks.
“There is no period of use shown to be without risk,” says Judy Racoosin, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products.
People who have cardiovascular disease, particularly those who recently had a heart attack or cardiac bypass surgery, are at the greatest risk for cardiovascular adverse events associated with NSAIDs.
FDA is adding information in the drug label for people who already have had a heart attack. This vulnerable population is at an increased risk of having another heart attack or dying of heart attack-related causes if they’re treated with NSAIDs, according to studies.
But the risk is also present in people without cardiovascular disease. “Everyone may be at risk – even people without an underlying risk for cardiovascular disease,” Racoosin adds.
What Consumers Should Do
NSAIDs are effective treatments for pain, inflammation and fever. Consumers can still take them but should be aware of this increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially at higher doses.
“As always, consumers must carefully read the Drug Facts label for all nonprescription drugs. Consumers should carefully consider whether the drug is right for them, and use the medicine only as directed. Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible,” Mahoney says.
When using prescription NSAIDs, read the consumer-friendly Medication Guide attached to your filled prescription, which provides important safety information.
If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, consult a health care provider before using an NSAID. Balance the benefits of NSAIDs with the possible risks and weigh your options. If you take low-dose aspirin for protection against heart attack and stroke, you should know that some NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen, can interfere with that protective effect.
Stop taking NSAIDs and seek medical help if you experience symptoms that might signal heart problems or stroke, such as chest pain, trouble breathing, sudden weakness in one part or side of the body, or sudden slurred speech.
Reduce your risk factors for heart disease and stroke. “Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are significant risk factors for these conditions,” Mahoney says. “If you smoke, work on quitting. See your doctor regularly to find out if you have these other strong risk factors, and commit yourself to taking care of them and of your health.”
If you are looking for alternatives to OTC medications chiropractic is a viable option that works with the bodies natural ability to heal and reduces symptoms and improves function. From headaches to osteoarthritis chiropractic is a proven treatment that optimizes the health of the body.
Call the Art of Chiropractic today for an evaluation to see how we may be able to help you...
Yours in Health,
Water is your body's principal component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water to flush toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provide a moist environment for the ear, nose and throat.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.
Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day," but where did that come from? Writing in the American Journal of Physiology, Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth Medical School noted a possible origin of this now widely accepted dietary dogma in the obituary of a well-known nutritionist by the name of Fredrick J. Stare, which said he was an “early champion of drinking at least six glasses of water a day.”
That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the "8 by 8" rule isn't supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it's easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total.
A 1945 recommendation by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended 2.5 liters of water as a “suitable allowance” of water for most adults. They, however, pointed out that “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods,” but it could be that people interpreted this to mean that 2.5 liters of water is the right amount to drink each day.
Can you drink too much water? Whenever you disregard your sense of thirst and strive to ingest several glasses of water a day just because you have been told that doing so is good for your health, you actually put unnecessary strain on your body in two major ways:
Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume, which exists within a closed system (your circulatory system), and if done on a regular basis can put unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels.
Your kidneys, as well, must work overtime to filter excess water out of your system. Over time unnecessary wear and tear from drowning your system with large amounts of water can damage this filter system.
Something else to consider, as your circulatory system becomes diluted with excess water, the concentration of electrolytes in your blood drops relative to the concentration of electrolytes in your cells. In an effort to maintain an equal balance with your cells, water will seep into your cells from your blood, causing swelling. If this swelling occurs in your brain and you could experience a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from a mild headache to impaired breathing.
This is more likely to happen in situations where large quantities are ingested in a very short period of time as was the case of the woman who competed in a water drinking competition and later died
How can I tell if I am properly hydrated? Take stock of a couple simple bodily functions. Urine color can directly relate to your body's loss or gain of water and offers a reliable way to identify your hydration status. Urine is dark yellow or gold when you're dehydrated; this is because the wastes normally found in urine become more concentrated as your body tries to conserve water. If you are well-hydrated, urine will be a light yellow or straw color, even if you have recently exercised in a hot environment.
You can also monitor sweat production. Your body uses sweat to regulate temperature; when body temperature increases, you produce sweat by drawing fluid from the bloodstream. If you continue to sweat without replacing fluids, your overall blood volume decreases, which can lead to dehydration and an eventual cessation of sweating, along with muscle cramps and a dangerous increase in temperature. However, if you are well-hydrated before exercise and continue to drink fluids during activity, you will maintain a relatively constant rate of sweat production and overall higher quality athletic performance.
So best advice is to drink fluids, preferably water, regularly through the day and monitor not only how much goes in but the quality and quantity of what goes out. Here is a simple calculator that attempts to quantify the proper amount of water. http://waterintakecalculator.com/
Enjoy the nice weather and stay properly hydrated. If you would like more information on this topic or are interested in finding out how chiropractic may help you or your family don’t hesitate to contact The Art of Chiropractic.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Doug Davies has been practicing the art of chiropractic for over 10 years and brings his skills to the downtown Gresham, OR area focusing on achieving and maintaining the innate lifestyle...