NSAIDs

NSAIDs stand for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The following are a list of the ones I've taken and a brief description of my experiences with each one.

There are two types of drugs I've always been on: one to control my arthritis (like a DMARD or biologic) and one to control daily pain and inflammation (NSAIDs).

Relafen and Diclofenac Sodium:

I am currently taking 500mg of Relafen in the mornings and 75mg of Diclofenac Sodium in the evening. My personal experience is that the Diclofenac does a better job of relieving inflammation, but it also does a better job of upsetting my stomach. Thus, I take it in the evening, after dinner, which is my largest meal of the day. The combination of Relafen and Diclofenac has worked well for me for over a year now, with minimal stomach side effects.

Celebrex:

Current: I was on Celebrex for 8 years before stopping it in 2007. I stopped because it didn't seem to be doing anything, but it was helpful to me for several years. The following paragraph was written in 2005, while I was still taking Celebrex, when Cox-2 inhibitors were getting a lot of negative press due to their potential heart side effects; and there were many patient advocacy groups lobbying to get Celebrex banned.

2005: I cannot say enough good things about Celebrex. I've been on it now for about 8 years, and it is by far the best option I've tried for managing daily pain. There are two types of drugs I've always been on: one to control my arthritis (like a DMARD or biologic) and one to control daily pain. If I wake up one day extra stiff, I can taken an extra Celebrex. That is not an option with any DMARD or biologic. For managing daily pain, Celebrex has helped me tremendously. I take 200 mg of Celebrex each morning and have 100 mg capsules of Celebrex in case I'm extra stiff one day. As for the recent news about Celebrex causing heart problems, that really doesn't bother or worry me at all. If Cox-2 inhibitors like Celebrex didn't exist or were pulled from the market, I have no idea what my stomach would be like today. I would almost certainly be having constant bleeding ulcers. So when you read articles that say things like "Celebrex works just as well as the normal NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin); therefore, it should be pulled off of the market since it's more dangerous and there's no need for it", know that there is a need for Celebrex. For people like me who were on stomach-damaging NSAIDs for many years, Celebrex is a blessing. There is a higher chance of my getting a bleeding stomach ulcer from taking Naproxen than there is of my having a heart attack from taking Celebrex. Taking Celebrex has made a huge impact on my life, and I am very glad that it hasn't been taken off the market.

Naproxen/Naprosyn/Aleve:

After I stopped taking aspirin (and switched rheumatologists), I was put on naproxen/naprosyn for a couple of years. It did help to control my daily pain. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking naproxen/etc. because of my stomach problems. Naproxen is better for the stomach than aspirin is, but it still would upset my stomach.

Aspirin:

I was on aspirin for the first 10 years or so of my life. Being on aspirin for so long meant that I ended up taking a really high dose each day (9 adult aspirin each day when I weighed less than 60 pounds). As a result, I ended up with a bleeding ulcer and I suspect that most of the gastro-intestinal problems I have now stem from taking aspirin for so long. I also suffer from chronic tinnitus (ringing in my ears) from being on aspirin for so long. I really can't think of anything good to say about using aspirin as a means of controlling arthritis pain daily.