It might make sense to some people – the strongest pain calls for the strongest painkillers, right?


I know plenty of people with arthritis who are left wondering why even the most powerful drugs never quite do the trick. So they take more – and higher doses… all the while still fighting pain and getting no better.

That's because arthritis can't be solved by painkillers – especially the powerful opioids like codeine and oxycodone. And a new paper questions the wisdom of giving opioids to these patients at all, no matter what form of arthritis they have.

It's about time.

I was thrilled the read the report in The Cochrane Library, which concluded that opioids simply aren't worth the risk. In a review of 10 studies, researchers found that these painkillers offer arthritis sufferers only small to moderate improvements in pain... but a great risk of side effects like nausea and constipation.

Those side effects are so bad – and so common – that many patients stop taking these meds altogether. I hope they didn't take them much at all in the first place – because opioids also happen to be highly addictive, and stopping them can lead to withdrawal.

Yup – if the arthritis isn't making you miserable enough, you can end up with withdrawal symptoms that include the sweats, chills, cramps, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, hypertension, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and more.

The researchers even found that higher doses don't work any better, and suggested that arthritis patients just stick to acetaminophen-based painkillers (like Tylenol) instead.

But is acetaminophen really that much better? The side effects aren't quite as bad… but you still run the risk of problems such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, allergic reactions and even liver damage with steady use.

In fact, acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure, and heavy use has been linked to kidney damage.

But you don't need to choose one bad drug over another. You just need to choose a new approach – a safer, more natural and more complete solution.

If you're a Health Revelations subscriber, head into the online archives and take a look at the May issue for regular arthritis, and June for rheumatoid. The answers are there, waiting for you. You just need to give up those meds you've come to depend on – and the side effects that come with them.