Friday March 7, 2014
Arthritis Therapy: Marijuana Vs. NSAIDSDr. Phillip Leveque Doctor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com
Marijuana wins again!
(PORTLAND, OR) - Osteoarthritis, along with rheumatoid arthritis are almost the constant companions of nearly everybody over 70 years and many by the time they are 50. This totals about 50 million in the U.S. and about one percent of the population in the whole world. Any or many joints can be involved and the fact that there are about 100 specific causes for arthritis, I guess that covers about everybody. The NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are also used by millions for mild pain. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, NSAIDS will be effective up to a scale of five. But above that, patients will require something stronger and/or adjuncts such as many sedatives or even caffeine like stimulants.
There are about ten classes of NSAIDS. I am not going to mention many of them because the most used ones are Tylenol type drugs, salicylates like aspirin, and the other major class like Ibuprofen for the rest, most arthritis victims are aware of them.
The adverse effects of drugs for osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, are dangerous and frightening. If anyone considers these mild analgesics totally safe, they are wrong. They both kill hundreds, or maybe even thousands per year by accident or suicide. They are toxic to the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys. They cause about 100,000 hospitalizations, about 16 thousand deaths per year, and about 40 percent of drug related emergency visits per year.
I am writing this article in response to a reader's comment to one of my articles several years ago. The first article is Pain Therapy and the Paramount Painkiller, Marijuana March 7 2011, and Marijuana, the Best, Safest Painkiller in Salem-News.com, March 16 2013. My reader wrote, "Marijuana is better and safer than aspirin," which causes gastric ulcers and bleeding and takes about an hour to work. Inhaling marijuana fumes from a vaporizer gives relief in about five minutes. Not only that, but marijuana is a much safer drug, with minimal minor side effects, and no deaths ever in about 5000 years of use.
The drugs mentioned above ask, aspirin and Tylenol, etc., have important but minimal utility and --- they act as mild analgesics and mild anti-inflammatories. Marijuana acts as an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and mild sedative-tranquilizer. There is no other drug or combination to match the extreme versatility and value of marijuana.
Marijuana as an analgesic, has no peer. It can be used successfully and safely for the mildest pain as well as most severe and debilitating pain. It is less potent for pain therapy than only the strongest painkillers, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and morphine. Codeine, a weak opiate, and analgesic, works reasonably well with NSAIDS, but not above a scale value of 6.
In addition to the beneficial actions mentioned above, marijuana has two unique actions no other classes of drugs can offer. It is classified as a euphoric drug, making patients feel better. It is better and safer than any other drug of this type. A second attribute is that marijuana has another valuable action; it is compatible with almost every kind of drug and the mutual effects are usually highly beneficial.
MARIJUANA WINS AGAIN!!!
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More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
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