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  1. #1
    bluecollarskin is offline New Member
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    Dec 2001

    O/T Arthritis.....

    I know this is off topic but....
    My mother(57) has arthritis and she wants to stop her prescription meds due to price. I told her that I would ask some of my bros for advice on supplaments and dosage, i.e. shark cartalage etc... Any help would be appreciated....

  2. #2
    bluecollarskin is offline New Member
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    Dec 2001

  3. #3
    TNT's Avatar
    TNT is offline Retired Moderator
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    Nov 2001
    Mid-Atlantic U.S.

    Re: O/T Arthritis.....

    Originally posted by bluecollarskin
    I know this is off topic but....
    My mother(57) has arthritis and she wants to stop her prescription meds due to price.
    Hey, BCS, this is not as off topic as you might think. The older you get, the more prone you'll be to arthritis, and it can affects BB just as much as anyone else. (Besides, if she has it, give yourself a few years, bro . . .)

    Anyway, the problem is probably that she is on name brand drugs as opposed to generics. And that's a common problem due to physicians who are constantly presented with the latest gadgets, gizmos, and drugs by pharmaceutical sales reps - sometimes the doctors end up doing what's in the best interest of the pharmaceutical companies rather than what's in the best interest of the patient. I'm going to assume, therefore, that she's on Celebrex or Vioxx, the current drugs of choice for arthritis, both of which are very expensive.

    If that's the case and money is an issue (and, for many people, prescriptions are their biggest expense these days - especially for most seniors, who do not have a prescription plan), my first recommendation would be that she ask her physician for a generic alternative. The old drug of choice for arthritis was good ol' Ibuprofen - the generic version of Motrin and Advil. The over-the-counter versions of these drugs come in a 200 mg. strength, with the package recommendation that you take two of them. But the prescription version is still available in 600 mg. and 800 mg. tablets, and it's available as a cheap generic drug.

    Any arthritis treatment is a crap shoot. Some patients respond very well to Celebrex or Vioxx, and for others these drug are no more than hype. The ibuprofen is certainly worth a try at the prescription strength, but it should be cleared by a physician, especially if your mom has had any kidney problems in the past.

    As far as supplements, the product of choice for arthritis is any combination of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, both of which suposedly "lubricate" joints. However, keep in mind that all of the literature on these tend to be anecdotal and not backed up by definitive clinical studies. Moreover, the price of many glusosamine/chondroitin products tends to be fairly high. In other words, if she is getting relief from the drugs she's already taking, you might find that there is not a significant savings once you start piling on supplements that may or may not work anyway. There is also a topical version of these supps - the best known brand is "Jointhritis," which has been advertised heavily on a lot of classic pop radio stations with a large senior audience. But this tends to be high priced as well, the evidence for its success is anecdotal, and it may not provide any more relief than good ol' cheap Ben Gay.

    Finally, make sure your mom isn't doing anything that would aggravate the arthritis. It's a given that, as we get older, we're going to have to address conditions like these and adjust our lifestyles accordingly. That doesn't mean taking a defeatist attitude, but it does mean making some adjustments - knowing that she may not play Chopin's Minute Waltz in a minute or may no longer be able to do delicate work requiring hand dexterity, etc. Not to mention the body having a built-in barometer - when you've got arthritis, just as when anyone has had a surgical incision, you know when it's going to rain.

    Best bet for right now: Have her see her doctor and inquire about generic alternatives to any name brand drugs she's taking, and be sure to run any ideas for specific supplements by the doctor, since many over-the-counter supplements can have a negative impact when a patient is on other drugs.

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