Monday, December 27, 2004
Pankillers: The Gateway Drugs to Surgery?
Other tidbits for this week:
The FDA is ordering a review of all painkillers and urging consumers (that's YOU!) to be mindful when taking both prescription painkillers and over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc), acetaminophen (Tyelnol, etc.) and even aspirin. Read labels. Read up on side effects. Use Google or other search engines to look up drug databases that include the patient information sheets that drug companies must publish for each drug. One of the best is the National Institutes of Health's Medline drug information web site. Look up drugs alphabetically.
And remember: painkillers are often the gateway drugs to more risky medical procedures, including surgeries. Doctors have a knack for saying things like, "Well, we'll try painkillers/anti-inflammatories/muscle relaxants for a couple of months and see how that works. If you're still having problems, we may have to try some coritsone injections for a few months...and if that doesn't produce long-term relief, surgery might be the only other option for us to look at...."
My advice? Look the other way for no-risk alternatives. They're out there.