For many people with chronic conditions, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is the only way to manage their pain. While these drugs are usually effective for easing pain and inflammation, they can also have significant side effects when taken for a prolonged period. If you follow a few preventive techniques, though, you can protect your body from these effects.
5 Ways To Reduce The Effects Of NSAIDs
1. Avoid Alcohol
Research shows that alcohol can irritate the stomach and exacerbate the negative effects of NSAIDs. Additionally, drinking alcohol can slow down digestion, which can affect how well a meal will protect your digestive system from the painkillers.
While it’s possible to have a drink every now and then, doctors recommend staying away from liquor altogether to be safe.
2. Take Them After A Full Meal
Having a full meal can protect your stomach lining from the irritation that NSAIDs can cause. As you digest the meal, your system will also slowly absorb the drugs – lowering the impact of the medication while ensuring that you get all the benefits.
Doctors further recommend taking the painkillers with a glass of milk or a lot of water as these will coat the stomach as well.
3. Take Soothing Medications
Over-the-counter antacids can help your stomach deal with the side effects of NSAIDs. Sometimes, you’ll need stronger medications to do the job, though. Talk to your doctor about other options that you can take alongside your painkillers to protect your stomach.
4. Alternate The Delivery Methods
Since the primary concern is the gastrointestinal system, some people minimize the potential side effects by using varying methods to take their NSAIDs.
Instead of only ingesting tablets or capsules, they alternate with gels, creams, and injections. This might not work for everyone depending on the condition they’re dealing with and their health status. However, it’s worth talking to your doctor to discuss the options.
5. Avoid Cigarettes
According to multiple studies, smoking cigarettes can affect your circulatory system. If you smoke, you may also be at an increased risk of