DURHAM, N.C. A new study released recently stated that patients taking more than one nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may have poorer health quality. NSAIDs are available with or without a prescription and that is one of the problems according to the study.
These drugs are widely available, and patients may take both prescription and over-the-counter NSAIDs at the same time, either because they need more pain relief or because they don’t realize the products belong to the same class of drugs, said the study authors, who added that doctors may not know their patients are taking more than one NSAID.
The researchers, led by Stacey Kovac of Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University, found that 26 percent of the patients reported taking at least two NSAIDs (prescription, OTC or both) during the previous month, during the study, which took place from February 2002 until August 2002. These dual users scored lower than others on the physical component of a questionnaire designed to evaluate physical and mental health.
The authors suggest that physicians should keep a complete list of a patient’s medication to help identify which ones are taking more than one NSAID. Also, the researchers conclude their study by saying that, “Adequate pain management may have the potential to reduce dual use, improve patient symptoms, including physical functioning, and reduce patient safety problems.”