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Alternatives to Ibuprofen For Pain Relief

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Q. How much ibuprofen can a person take and for how long before needing to talk to a doctor? I have read that stomach upset may indicate problems. I can’t really take any NSAID or aspirin unless I eat a 'mini-meal' at the same time. Otherwise, my stomach hurts.

I was taking 1600 to 2400 mg/day of ibuprofen for weeks before surgery, and I expect to need some medicine to help with pain relief throughout my physical therapy.

As long as I eat with each dose, my stomach feels OK, but I'm trying to lose weight. I am also concerned about what the medicine could be doing to my insides. Any information you can provide on other approaches to pain relief would be greatly appreciated.

A. Ibuprofen, like all NSAIDs, can be irritating to the digestive tract. Stomach ulcers are always a risk. Other complications include high blood pressure, kidney damage, fluid retention, heart failure and toxic skin rash. The high doses you are using require medical supervision.

Topical NSAIDs may be a safer alternative. Canadian pharmacies sell Pennsaid (diclofenac and DMSO) if you have a prescription. You may also find fish oil or herbs like boswellia, ginger or turmeric beneficial.

We are sending you our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis in which we discuss the complications of NSAIDs and options like Pennsaid and non-drug approaches.

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7 Comments

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I had most of my colon removed--ibruprofen and oxycontin caused me to develop diverticulitis. I was on 600mg of ibruprofen 4x a day for over 5 years.

Have you any information on the use of flexprotex's for arthritis and joint pain? It is supposed to be all natural cox2 inhibitors. Any word on how well it works? Thank you, Linda

I cannot take oral NSAIDs either, so when I need them my doctor prescribes topical ibuprofen or diclofenac which I have filled at my local compounding pharmacy--both these preparations work great for me! And they are not very expensive, which is a bonus. I use the diclofenac when my bursitis flares up and the ibuprofen for my neck and headaches.

I too have been taking 600 mg of Ibuprofen 2X/day for muscle pain that may be fibromyalgia (diagnosis is not yet definitive). I include a generic acid reducer each time I take the ibuprofen; so far, so good--about 2 years now.

My doctor has been switching me from NSAID to NSAID in the last few months to deal with sciatica in my leg. I started out on voltaren 75 BID. Then she switched me to naproxen. The naproxen seems to work better, but it causes my stomach to be more upset and cause me to have gas. Any ideas on what I could take that would work better, or maybe something to take with the naproxen to help my stomach?

Ibuprofen really hurts my stomach. What can I take for my arthritis?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ONE POSSIBLE PAIN RELIEVER IS ACETAMINOPHEN, IF YOU ARE NOT ON A DRUG THAT MIGHT INTERACT. THERE ARE ALSO HERBS SUCH AS BOSWELLIA OR TURMERIC OR HOME REMEDIES SUCH AS GOLDEN RAISINS SOAKED IN GIN OR VINEGAR.

M 57 years old . After starting a new job and having to step up onto a high piece of machinery. My legs started to ache at night terribly. I started taking aspirin daily which helped some. But decided to look for an alternative due to concerns about burning my stomach. I tried GINGER ROOT PILLS, they worked. One a day or if I have a do some extra strenuous activity (like digging up & moving 5 large bushes last week) I take an extra one. NO PAIN!!! I also think it has helped the appearance of my varicose veins on my legs. I plan taking them the rest of my life.
Roger

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