A study has found that a family of pain relievers, including ibuprofen, may increase the risk of chronic pain

A study has found that a family of pain relievers, including ibuprofen, may increase the risk of chronic pain

There is a medical principle that dates back to the early 16th century: Dosis Sola Facility Venom – In modern parlance, you might know it as “only the dose makes the poison.” It’s the idea that, in the right amount, anything can be harmful, even your daily medication.

A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine proves this saying applies to one of our most popular pain relievers. According to the paper, anti-inflammatory drugs — a group that includes first aid mainstays such as Advil (the brand name for ibuprofen) and aspirin — can increase patients’ chances of developing chronic pain.

Study co-author Jeffrey Mogill, professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University and chair of E.B.

“But we’ve found that this short-term fix can lead to long-term problems,” he explained.

Supporting this conclusion are data from 128 human participants and some mice – and unusually for experiments exploring the effects of drugs, humans came first.

Initially, the researchers enrolled 98 people treated for lower back pain with anti-inflammatories over a three-month period. They wanted to investigate the mechanisms of pain, and how these drugs affect them, so they chose two equally sized groups — one made up of people whose pain had disappeared during the trial’s timeline, and one whose pain persisted — and performed a genome analysis on them.

What they found was a marked difference between people who did recover from pain and those who didn’t — all down to a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil.

“Neutrophils dominate the early stages of inflammation and pave the way for tissue damage repair,” Mogill explained. Patients who recovered were found to have more extreme levels of these cells during the treatment period: very high initially, compared to the non-recovered group, with a sharp decline by the end of the three months.

The researchers decided to investigate the idea further by recruiting 30 people with temporomandibular disorder, a painful condition that affects the muscles around your jaw and ears. The researchers wrote that the findings “repeated our findings” – emphasizing that neutrophils are important for pain recovery.

But just to learn How do The importance of these cells, the researchers needed the help of some of the rodent participants. In experiments with mice, the team found that blocking neutrophils could extend the duration of pain by up to ten times — and that taking anti-inflammatory drugs extended it up to twice as long as they were given no treatment.

The researchers even administered other pain-relieving drugs, to verify that they had anti-inflammatory properties and not just an analgesic effect that was causing the longer pain experience. He just confirmed their hypothesis: Anti-inflammatories seem to uniquely prolong pain — even if they are effective short-term pain relievers.

“Inflammation happens for a reason,” Mogill said. “It seems dangerous to interfere with it.”

But doing these trials – as well as the study finding that individuals from 500,000 robust participants in UK Biobank resources were more likely to have pain two to ten years later if they treated initial pain with anti-inflammatories versus other drugs – means we must rethink Reach for ibuprofen the next time we feel a tingle? Researchers say maybe not yet.

“This study is a great start to provide an answer to this question, but it now needs to be replicated and further investigated by other scientists,” said neuroimmunologist Franziska Dink, a senior lecturer at King’s College London, who was not involved in the study. .

“It would certainly be premature to make any recommendations about people’s medications until we have the results of a prospectively designed clinical trial,” she explained. “In my opinion, this study should not spark controversy about the use of NSAIDs in low back pain – more research is needed to confirm these findings first.”

However, the results are “very interesting,” she added – and the team responsible is hopeful that this will lead to further study on other pain management methods.

“We discovered that pain resolution is actually an active biological process,” explained study co-author Luda Dyachenko, a professor in the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, and Canada Research Distinguished Chair in Human Pain Genetics.

“These findings should be followed up with clinical trials that directly compare anti-inflammatory drugs with other pain relievers that relieve aches and pains but do not disrupt inflammation.”

2022-05-13 14:13:00

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