Aspirin for Arthritis

Aspirin is the most common medication for treating arthritis symptoms. The drug interferes with prostaglandin compounds produced by the body tissues. Prostaglandin is believed to initiate the inflammation process which worsens the arthritis conditions. Find out how effective or harmful it can be for arthritis sufferers.

While arthritis is a condition that is marked by joints inflammations, pain and inflexibility, aspirin is the most popular drug for treating these symptoms of arthritis. Aspirin is preferred because it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is effective for treating pain, fever and inflammations.

The effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) are very specific to a person. So the rheumatologist may suggest a different NSAID for treating the same condition.

How does aspirin work for arthritis?

Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also called “prostaglandin inhibitors”. This is on account of the fact that drugs like aspirin obstruct the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are compounds contained in the tissues of the body that specifically trigger inflammatory conditions.

When cells get injured or stimulated, prostaglandins are released. One type of prostaglandin also called the PGE2, warns the body of improper functions and disturbances by increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain. On the other hand, other prostaglandins initiate the inflammation process and promote further blood clots. Aspirin interferes by checking the production of this prostaglandin thereby reducing swelling and pain.

How does aspirin retard other important functions of the body?

It is believed that in the process of reducing inflammations, other important functions of prostaglandins are also reduced. For example, some prostaglandins are responsible for regulating the blood flow through the kidneys. They also help in filtering and excreting harmful sodium and toxins from the body. An important function of the prostaglandin is to hinder acid production which protects the peripheries of the stomach by acid damage. Aspirin can enable acid to eat holes into the stomach and intestines. These are the few damages that aspirin can cause.

So always consult a rheumatologist before taking an aspirin to treat your arthritis conditions.

Precautionary measures to be taken before considering aspirin for arthritis:

Look into the following before taking any drug or medication for treating your arthritis symptoms:

  • Inform your rheumatologist about any allergic reaction to aspirin.
  • Inform your doctor about heartburns, stomach pains, etc.
  • Aspirin is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
  • Consult with your doctor about your regular patterns of alcohol intake.
  • Avoid aspirin if you already suffering from a poor kidney condition.
  • Avoid aspirin if you are taking blood thinning medicines like warfarin.
  • Avoid aspirin if you suffer from severe asthma conditions.
  • Try avoiding aspirin for flu or chicken pox symptoms as it increases the risk of the Reye’s syndrome that can ultimately lead to coma.

Side effects of aspirin:

Intake of aspirin whether an overdose or not can lead to some side effects that can include the following conditions:

  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

Severe conditions can include rashes, vomiting blood or difficulties in breathing. Rush to your rheumatologist for further assistance and guidance in such a case.

Arthritis sufferers can breathe a sigh of relief as there are other NSAID’s that can bring much relief to the aching joints. These drugs are available with prescription and there are fewer side effects to these as they are to be taken in minimum doses.

No matter how effective drugs maybe, they are always available with side effects. So, one has to be prepared to bear some minimum disorders or ill effects after taking drugs like aspirin.