Anti-inflammatory drugs

If you're already on daily aspirin, what should you do when you have some muscular-skeletal inflammation you want to treat (or get a cold for that matter)? Is Ibuprofen out, and more aspirin?


  • Joe,

    As I'm neither a doctor nor pharmacist, can only tell you what information I've picked up over time.

    1 in 8 people who take aspirin as a preventative medicine will end up with GI bleeds. Most, if not all, anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are as rough on your stomach & digestive tract as aspirin so, as I understand it, you could take an ibuprofen when needed, even if you're on aspirin but just be prepared to do nasty damage to your insides!

    Hopefully now I've boinged this, a doc or pharmacist type person will pick up on it and give you sensible advice.

    If I were you, I wouldn't even be taking daily aspirin but I definitely would not then take another anti-inflammatory on top of it.
  • The aspirin are prescribed by my doctor and are supposedly gastro-resistant Micropirin.
  • I don't take aspirin but have taken NSAIDs in the past.

    Voltaren & Celebrex mainly.

    However my mother has given me some Serrazyme to take - can't say if they're working (think they could be helping slightly) but no side-effects noticed as yet.
  • I have NSAIDs all the time for Rhematoid type arthritis. I use a suppository of Indomethecin (prescribed) so that I can also have aspirin/paracetemol for pain relief. I would, from experience suggest that you don't ake Ibuprufen and the like with aspirin as your stomach will feel so painful that you will prefer to live with the pain in your joints/muscles.Also, fom discussion with many fellow sufferers I would suggest you discuss this with your GP -preferably one who runs and therefore understands the issues.
  • thanks for the replies - any medical peops like to comment? Don't really want to go back to the doctor yet again ... he must be fed up with me by now.
  • you could ask at your pharmacist for advice - they are very well clued up and should be able to give you good advice

    not sure about whether this would be right but maybe a gel or cream based nsaid might be ok to use for muscle pains as its not ingested and wont therefore affect stomach lining?
  • Buney, that was the sort of thing I was wondering - don't know if Deep Heat would be any good (never having used it before) or something like that.
  • Deep Heat is brilliant, I use it often and found it to be very effective on muscle soreness and aches. It does smell a bit though.
  • Joe, are you on low dosage of aspirin to prevent heart trouble? If thats the case the odd Ibuprofen or paracetamol won't do you much harm...

    Also what do you want to take the additional painkiller/anti-inflammatory for?

    I take high dosage of Ibuprofen for a rheumatic condition. It does effect the stomach. On top of this I do use homeopathic remedies to help with aches and pains from excessive excersise. After a hard run/race a combination of arnica alternated with Rhus. Tox (both 30C) does wonders. I also take one caplet (6C) a day of Rhus. Tox. for its ant-rheumatic qualities. There are quite a few oils and creams you can use that reduce muscle ache and inflammation by actually rubbing them into joints/muscles so this would not interfere with the aspirin you are already taking.
    Go to your pharmacy and discuss it with your farmacist, they will be more clued in then your GP and will be able to direct you to the right topical cream/oil as well, if thats what you think may work. In my experience ayurvedic ant-inflammatory oils are very good, but hard to get in this country unless you live somewhere where there are a lot of Indians...
  • Hanneke, yes, the aspirin is for multiple chd risk factors++.

    As for the inflammation, recently I've had ITB pain which I wanted to take aspirin for but managed with some ice and the last couple of days I've had some rib/chest wall muscle inflammation which has been painful (I know its non-cardiac as although it hurts when I run, it also hurts bending down to tie up my shoelaces!).

    I will follow the advice of yourself and others and have a word with the pharmacist.
  • Joe, if you have ITB pain, do you religiously stretch the ITB? Its a very important stretch and often overlooked! If its giving you pain, stretch it gently several times a day. I developed ITB pain some way into my training (fairly new to running) and never stretched the ITB. Since then I stretch it religiously and have not had a problem since! Ice is always good for that type of pain so you did well. The rib/chest wall muscles respond well to a topical application of anti-inflammatories, so either an allopathic or alternative cream/oil should do you for that.
  • Joe - Ibuprofen gel from Boots etc. helps (more than oral ibuprofen) with ITBS for me.

    Stretching lots is the way forward though.
  • High risk of GI bled taking the two together
    Guess you could take the aspirin twice a wek and limit the use of the NSAID to the shortest possible course
    Or temporarily stop aspirin whoile on NSAIDS
    either way-i wouldntuse NSAIDS long term

    Unless you have no choice

    er-dont you have asthma too Joe-NSAIDS might conceivably affect that too
    sounds as though you would be better takin some paracetamol adn doing the stretches
  • Hippo, thanks for that. I am not good at following up on stretching but I really ought to, for the ITB, instead of just reacting to it when it flares up.

    The asthma was just a theory I had and so far the peak flow readings don't back it up. I do have lots of different undiagnosed chest pain. The last few days it has been muscle inflammation (as I got it bending over, turning over in bed as well as running) but I don't think all of it is and I'm also on a waiting list for a stress test. Knowing my luck I'll probably have the whole lot.

    Hanneke - thanks again, I know you are right about the stretching. I just don't do it! But I will try and get on with it.

  • You got to stretch Joe, its much better to prevent inflammation then to treat it! The ITB stretch is simple and when I developed the pain I took to stretching several times a day, every time I went to the loo as a matter of fact. Just for 20 seconds each side. It soon eased up without any additional need for painkillers or other stuff.
  • I will give the ones Noakes describes a go.
  • Tackled the pharmacist today and she recommended I give Deep Heat a try, and steered me away from the ibuprofen gel which I'd been considering. So will have a go with this for the chest muscles.
  • Great Joe!

    And remember (at the risk of nagging) stretch! Even those chest muscles! I excersise them by breathing in to the utmost maximum for a few breaths a few times a day. This will probably be painful for you right now but do it anyway... it does bring some relief!

    Another question: do you sometimes have pain in your right or left hip or even deep into your buttock?
  • No pain down there apart from a perpetually tight gluteus maximus, which I stretch religiously.

  • Hi Joe

    The worry with Ibuprofen and aspirin (NOT just the stomach irritation issue) is that they now think that Ibuprofen reduces the anti-platelet effect of the aspirin - which essentially means you may lose the 'heart/clot prevention' effect that you're taking it for. Like most things its a 'weigh up the pros and cons' - but I think I would go for the stretches rather than the increased cardiac risk!
  • snails - thanks for that info, most interesting.
  • Is it always the same glute that's giving you the trouble? Or does it change sides sometimes? Sorry, don't want to get too personal but its just something I was thinking about, medically.
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