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Side Effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: The Experience of Patients with Musculoskeletal Disorders

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are of choice for acute pain management in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) but they are not without side effects. The primary aim of this study was to investigate user’s experience of side effects of oral NSAIDs among patients with MSDs. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 296 patients with MSDs from physiotherapy out-patient clinics of five selected hospitals. A structured and close ended questionnaire was administered to investigate the side effects experienced by respondents. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, frequency and percentages) and Chi-square were used to compare the mean percentage difference in the knowledge of NSAIDs and their side effects. Only 15% of the respondents were able to recognize the listed side effects. A significant number of the respondents (58.7%) were not informed of the side effects of the NSAIDs at the time of prescription (Ӽ2 = 8.82, p = 0.003). About 33.4% and 31% of respondents identified dizziness and abdominal pain respectively as side effects. Sixty two (22.3%) respondents had experienced dizziness while 15.9% experienced abdominal pains. Diclofenac was the most frequently prescribed NSAID (153 [51.7%]). Only 2.0% and 2.7% of respondents were aware of phonophoresis and iontophoresis respectively as alternative means of administering NSAIDs where applicable. The Chi-square test revealed that the number of respondents that preferred alternative means of administration (where applicable) was significantly higher than those who preferred the oral routes (x2 = 74.5, p = 0.001). We concluded that this sample of Nigerian patients was not informed of the side effects of NSAIDs by the prescribers. Dizziness and abdominal pains were the most experienced side effects. The role of alternative methods to administer NSAIDs need to be made available to patients where applicable to increase their health care choices.

Side Effects, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Patient’s Experience, Musculoskeletal Disorders

Onigbinde Ayodele Teslim, M’Kumbuzi Vyvienne, Olaogun Mathew Olatokunbo, Afolabi Joshua Oluwafisayo, Nondwe Bongokazi Mlenzana, et al. (2014). Side Effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: The Experience of Patients with Musculoskeletal Disorders. American Journal of Health Research, 2(4), 106-112.

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