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NSAIDs: Take 'em early and often when competing? Think again
Date:12/16/2009

utweigh the risks?"

  • Background. NSAIDs interact with the body's chemistry at a cellular level by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) isozymes. The COX isozymes are critical for the synthesis of prostaglandins, which have important functions in the gut and cardiovascular system, as well as during inflammation and the adaptive response of the musculoskeletal system to stress. NSAIDs may reduce pain and inflammation following injury by inhibiting COX isozyme-induced prostaglandin synthesis; however, as they circulate within the body indiscriminately, rather than localizing to the source of an athlete's specific aches and pains, they may produce undesirable side effects. With regular misuse, athletes face extreme and severe risks, such as the development of ulcers, potentially fatal problems with renal blood flow, and increased risks for cardiovascular problems. On a lesser scale, they could actually increase their risk for injuries because their bodies are less able to adapt to rigorous workouts -- and healing could take longer.

    Warden said NSAIDs should be taken as directed -- in the recommended dosages and for no more than a week after an acute injury that involves swelling and pain.

    "But to take the drugs before every run and throughout the year is a concern. You need to think of pain not as a hindrance, but as a signal that something is not quite right," he says, adding that, "NSAIDs should not be used at the expense of a thorough assessment of an injury by a trained professional, such as a physical therapist or physician."


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  • Contact: Stuart Warden
    stwarden@iupui.edu
    317-278-8401
    Indiana University
    Source:Eurekalert

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