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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatories


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 08/9/1999]
Question: My question is this. I am *highly allergic* to aspirin as I have had an anaphylactic shock when I was a child and almost died as a result of eating baby aspirin. In 1995 I was in an auto accident which did soft tissue damage to my upper and lower back. I have been told that NSAIDS would greatly help me regarding the pain I suffer on a daily basis, it's incompacitating and I have not held a job since. What I would like to know is can I take NSAIDS since I am truly extremely allergic to aspirin and my doctor from years ago said a baby asprin could kill me? I hate taking narcotics and usually don't unless it gets unbearable and then only Darvocets. I just feel like if the tissues are inflamed I would rather take some type of anti-inflammatory as opposed to narcotic/tylenol. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me regarding this as I have asked numerous pharmacists and they say it would be okay to take NSAIDS, I just am not certain I believe them. The couple doctors I have asked say they really don't know the answer to my question. I hope you can help me on this matter. Thanks Jim Wood

Answer: It would not be ok to take NSAIDS, you might get away with it but, there is a distinct possiblitity of developing anaphylactic shock again(which would ruin your whole day). There is a new class of pain medications, Cox-2 inhibitors. I do not know the risk of this with aspirin anaphylaxis but, I would try these prior to NSAIDS.

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