Osteoporosis Sufferers May Be Taking the Wrong over the Counter Medication
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Osteoporosis Sufferers May Be Taking the Wrong over the Counter Medication

Seniors, who first find out that they have osteoporosis in the knee, automatically begin to take over the counter pain relievers. The trouble is they may be taken the wrong medication.

Canadians may be doing themselves more harm than good when they self medicate for pain associated with osteoporosis. A new study put out by University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta found that seniors, who first find out that they have osteoporosis in the knee, automatically begin to take over the counter pain relievers. The trouble is they may be taken the wrong medication.

The study, which appeared in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, enlisted the help of pharmacists in the Vancouver and Edmonton area to search for seniors over 50 who had not been officially diagnosed with arthritis, but complained of knee pain, aching, or any other related discomfort.

Later, 190 and of these recruits were tested and knee osteoporosis was confirmed. Based on the body mass index, 43 percent of these individuals were overweight and 24 percent of them were obese.

The researchers were pleased that most of the people who self medicated were doing the right thing. 75 percent were participating in aerobic, strength, or endurance exercises such as walking or biking, in order to increase their mobility, 33 percent were using mobility aids such as shoe inserts, knee tape, and knee braces, and 52 percent were taking over the counter or prescription drugs.

However, the problem with the over the counter drugs was that only 25 percent of the people were taking the right kind. Acetaminophen is the medication recommended by rheumatologists. This medication is recommended because it is inexpensive and proven to be safe for arthritis sufferers. Fifty percent of the sufferers were taken non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors. Some of the osteoporosis sufferers took the medication prior to switching over to Tylenol.

What is alarming to the researchers is that these medications were taking based on their own choice or were made on the advise of family or friends without consulting with a physician or health care professional.

The researchers were perturbed that some of the patients were taken glucosamine and chondroitin, which is not scientifically proven to be effective. Some were taking a combination of these products and painkillers.

However, 93 percent of the recruitments did seek medical attention by six months into the study and reported a marked improvement in their condition.

Though this study was limited in scope, it does emphasis the need for osteoporosis suffers to seek medical advice before attempting to self medicate.

Montrealers can obtain valuable osteoporosis information at:

McGill Health Care Centre

 

Sources:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100401/arthritis_100401/20100401?hub=Health

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Comments (2)

It is so important

it sure is

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