NSAIDs just can’t seem to get out of the news these days. As if it weren’t enough to hear that the medicine cabinet staples can cause liver or kidney damage, some can cause heart conditions as well — and now they have been found to create another problem. NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs used to be the mainstay in pain relief, but more and more problems just keep arising with them.
The latest problem seems to affect the male urinary tract. NSAIDs work by affecting the production of prostaglandins. However, these prostaglandins are also important in the urinary system. They help to signal the contractions necessary for urination to occur. A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that this effect of NSAIDs on prostaglandins can cause men to experience acute urinary retention (AUR).
This condition makes men unable to urinate, and let me tell you, it is quite painful. The problem may even require a catheter, which is painful and cumbersome, getting in the way with daily living. The study of over 72,000 men over the age of 45 showed that regular use of NSAIDs more than doubled their risk of AUR occurring.
Also, the higher the dose of the drug was the more their risk went up. This new, yet serious complication of NSAIDs just shows how little is known about these supposedly safe drugs. So, next time you reach for that oh- so-simple bottle of pills, you might want to reconsider.
Is immediate pain relief worth excessive pain later? The more research we see being done on these drugs the more appealing natural therapies start to look as alternative options.