Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help to reduce the discomfort of chronic pain in millions of elderly people all over the world. The population of elderly people is increasing (Bavry, Park, Qin, 2012). Pain results from chronic illnesses although the pain in most of the elderly is caused by osteoarthritis. However, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cause more side effects than their analgesic effects. Some of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include aspirin although there is very little data on how aspirin is used. Aspirin has side effects such as bleeding among others.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have several side effects in elderly people, and hypertension is one of these side effects. All Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs increase blood pressure in people who are hypertensive and normotensive. Cox-2 inhibition is responsible for the hypertensive effects caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Gastrointestinal toxicity is another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug side effect. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin also have the power to cause duodenal ulcers (Bavry et al, 2012). Renal dysfunction may also result from the use of these drugs. Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also cause renal injury. Elderly people with a predisposition to renal failure should not take Cox-2 inhibitors. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also result in heart failure as some studies have shown. Certain types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are responsible for causing cardiovascular problems (Bavry et al, 2012).
There are several guidelines published by various agencies on the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and their side effects. All such agencies caution people against using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for a long time. Those with heart failure, unstable angina, and acute myocardial infarction are advised by the American Heart Association not to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Bavry et al, 2012).
There is a need for people to consider using alternative methods of treating their pain. Such alternatives may include opioid therapy and acetaminophen. If these alternatives cause concerns of abuse and side effects, it is advisable to use tramadol which is also an alternative although it may have a high potential of abuse. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are meant to give analgesia to patients but with a systemic exposure that is extremely low (Bavry et al, 2012).
In conclusion, researchers have made efforts to study the side effects associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but more research is necessary to expand the scope of knowledge about these drugs and their effects on the elderly. Pain management in elderly people continues to be a challenge, especially with aging populations. Health caregivers should monitor the elderly whenever they use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because these drugs have many side effects such as cardiovascular problems (Bavry et al, 2012).
The study was a valid one because its findings are backed by empirical evidence as well as the findings of other studies that the authors have referred to. However, the sample size of the study has not been specified. The authors have made accurate conclusions on the findings of their study. It is important to note that the researchers did not use or follow the scientific method. They only referred to works done by other researchers. The scientific method has various steps including hypothesis, deduction, predictions, testing predictions, and induction. These steps were not adhered to in the entire study (Bavry et al, 2012).
Bavry, A, Park, K.E., & Qin, Y 2012, ‘Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and their Effects in the Elderly,’ Aging Health, Vol.8, no. 2, pp. 167.