Patients who took both over-the-counter and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had reduced pain from arthritis during daily activities, but this practice may increase complications, according to the results of a study reported in the January 31 Online First issue and will appear in the February 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research. See Medscape
"Inadequate prescription therapy pain management, lack of doctor-patient communication about over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and easy accessibility of OTC medications may contribute to patients using more than 1 medication to manage pain," write Stacey H. Kovac, PhD, from Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
It is well established that taking multiple nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems. Little is known about whether use of more than 1 NSAID (i.e., dual use) is related to patient self-reported outcomes.
Patients may self-manage their pain to improve their daily activities by taking more than 1 NSAID," the study authors write. "However, by attempting to obtain symptom relief, patients may be putting themselves at risk for complications. Providers are likely unaware of patients' risk