Pain and depression make a dangerous pair. In fact, this combination can be downright deadly. But the reason may surprise you: Two common treatments could actually be to blame.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen have already been targeted as a common cause of gastrointestinal bleeding due to their ability to erode your gut’s protective lining.
But recent research shows that pairing NSAIDs with the most popular class of antidepressant drugs–called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs–can make a bad situation even worse.
The disastrous results of pairing NSAIDs with SSRIs
In a recent analysis of medical studies on this link, researchers found that 67 percent of upper gastrointestinal bleeding cases occurred in patients taking both NSAIDs and SSRIs, after a median of only 25 weeks of use.1 Another recent study indicated that patients using both types of drugs suffered a nine fold increase in gastrointestinal bleeding risk when compared with controls.2
The conclusion: When combined with SSRIs, even aspirin can significantly increase your risk of a condition that can cause anything from severe anemia to death.3
Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer through depression or chronic pain to avoid this risk. In fact, by taking steps to strengthen your gastrointestinal lining and combat pain naturally, you can have the best of both worlds without sacrificing your health in the process.
A natural alternative to NSAIDs
Glutagenics is one good example of a supplement that contains multiple nutrients for gastrointestinal health–including amino acids like glutamine, essential for both reinforcing your intestine’s mucosal wall and ensuring healthy GI cell metabolism.4-5 Botanicals such as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) and aloe vera are also helpful in maintaining gut health, due to their ability to soothe irritation, stimulate mucous production, and promote ulcerative healing.6-10
Other safe options for reducing chronic pain are numerous–two of the most effective include a patented hops extract and the herbs turmeric and boswellia serrata. Kaprex is a clinically tested herbal dietary supplement that provides natural joint relief. Unlike NSAIDs that are known to erode the gut’s protective lining, Kaprex is easy on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, providing safer joint protection and pain reduction.
Inflavanoid Intensive Care combines turmeric and boswellia serrata along with several others for a powerful synergistic effect–one that comes at no cost to your lasting health. These herbs have been proven to inhibit joint inflammation and destruction in animal studies and placebo-controlled human trials.11-12
- Loke YK, Trivedi AN, Singh S. Meta-analysis: gastrointestinal bleeding due to interaction between selective serotonin uptake inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jan 1;27(1):31-40.
- de Abajo FJ, García-Rodríguez LA. Risk of Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Bleeding Associated With Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Venlafaxine Therapy. Interaction With Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Effect of Acid-Suppressing Agents. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(7):795-803.
- Dalton SO, Johansen C, Mellemkjaer L, Nørgård B, Sørensen HT, Olsen JH. Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risk of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding: a population-based cohort study. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Jan 13;163(1):59-64.
- Sacks GS. Glutamine supplementation in catabolic patients. Ann Pharmacother. 1999;33:348-54.
- Miller AL. Therapeutic considerations of L-glutamine: a review of the literature. Altern Med Rev. 1999;4:239-48.
- van Marle J, Aarsen PN, Lind A, van Weeren-Kramer J. Deglycyrrhizinised liquorice (DGL) and the renewal of rat stomach epithelium. Eur J Pharmacol. 1981;72:219-25.
- 8. Tewari SN, Wilson AK. Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice in duodenal ulcer. Practitioner. 1973;210:820-3.
- 9. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
- 10. Cheney G. Vitamin U Therapy of Peptic Ulcer. California Medicine. 1952;77(4): 248-252.
- 11. Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.
- 13. Funk JL, Frye JB, Oyarzo JN, et al. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-3464.
- 14. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee–a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.