Medications to avoid!

The theme of this post will be medications which should be read up on before embarked upon! While it’s important to listen to your doctor, you should also do some of your own research, too. This doesn’t mean arguing with your doctor after reading some stuff on WebMd. It means making a valiant effort to understand the medicines and course of treatment that you are on… Off my soap box now, and onto some facts: (so that we may age gracefully)

Asthma Treatments Increase Bone Loss in Women

Premenopausal women who use inhaled corticosteroids to treat persistent asthma may experience accelerated bone loss in the hip compared to those who do not use inhaled steroids, according to results of a new study of 109 women ages 18 to 45. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that the effect of the inhaled steroids was directly related to the dose. The bone density loss increased with the number of puffs per day and persisted throughout the 3-year study.

Although the yearly changes were small, the scientists suggested that the long-term cumulative effect could ultimately put some women at high risk of hip fractures. “As with all treatments, the goal is to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks,” said National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. “We encourage all patients with asthma to work with their doctors on a comprehensive treatment plan; that is, the lowest possible dose of inhaled steroids that controls their asthma symptoms as well as measures to maintain good bone health, such as adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.”

medication alert

Popular Arthritis Drugs May Increase Heart Attack Risk – Exercise

A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic Foundations has revealed that the popular arthritis drugs Celebrex and Vioxx may increase the risk of heart attacks.

Both these drugs are known as COX-2 inhibitors, because they target the enzyme COX-2, which is a biochemical switch to activate inflammatory cell response. COX-1, another such enzyme, is the target of other drugs, including aspirin. The COX-2 inhibitors were developed mainly to overcome the gastrointestinal side effects of the COX-1 inhibitors.

The Clinic’s research shows that people who take the COX-2 inhibitors instead of aspirin are twice as likely to have a heart attack. However, according Dr. Steven Nissen, who took part in the study, the number of heart attacks, even with the increased risk, is still low (about 1% to 2%).

So, as with used cars…Carpe Diem (buyer beware)! Always share your complete history with your doctor to ensure you come to an informed decision. You can learn a little bit more about me and why I care about these type of things on my about page. 

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