We really don’t like NSAID drugs. Why? NSAID side effects. The medical literature over the past 5 years has shown that these are dangerous drugs with many nasty side effects. For example, recent research showing that NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs dramatically increase the risk of sudden death from a heart attack. How about other research showing that about 1 in 1,200 people that take NSAIDs for more than 60 days will perish from a GI bleed. Or how about research showing a connection between NSAIDs and Alzheimer’s Disease? In addition, inflammation in the body has gotten a bad rap (see our practice’s book-Orthopedics 2.0) as it’s essential for normal healing. On the heels of those reports of serious NSAID side effects comes new research last week showing that common anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may increase the chance of miscarriage if they are taken early in pregnancy. In this new study, the risk of miscarriage more than doubled in women who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. To replace NSAID drugs, we’ve counseled patients to take high doses of a high quality fish oil, as research by the University of Pittsburgh Neurosurgery Department demonstrated that about 60% of chronic low back pain patients were able to successfully get off of their NSAID drugs using this method. What happens if you still can’t get off these drugs? A close look at your diet may also help, as we’ve noted that many patients who are unable to get off these drugs have a high glycemic diet that causes wide swings in blood sugar, stoking the flames of inflammation. Other supplements like Resveratrol may also assist the transition. The upshot? NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs are dangerous with unacceptably high side effect profiles when taken for long periods. The best way to avoid getting hooked on their potent anti-inflammatory effects is not to start on these drugs.