Regular over-the-counter pain med use may up psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis risk

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Over-the-counter pain medications may be linked to an increased risk of psoriatic arthritis, results of a study published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica.

To examine an association between routine aspirin, acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), Shaowei Wu, MD, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues culled data from the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort.

Of the participants, 646 were diagnosed with psoriasis, including 165 women who had PsA. Routine use of acetaminophen was associated with a 78% increased risk of PsA, while NSAIDS were associated with a 35% increased risk of psoriatic arthritis, reported the investigators.

For both kinds of drugs, the risk of psoriatic arthritis grew over time, researchers found. Regular use of acetaminophen for more than a decade was associated with more than triple the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, while use of NSAIDs for the same amount of time was associated with more than double the risk. Long-term use of these drugs was linked to an increased risk of psoriasis as well, although the risk was smaller, added the researchers.

NSAIDs are sometimes used as an initial treatment for psoriatic arthritis, but there are few studies evaluating their effectiveness, noted the investigators. Based on their findings, the researchers suggested that there needs to be more research into effect of NSAIDs on PsA.

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Regular OTC pain med use may up psoriasis, PsA risk

Over-the-counter painkillers you probably keep in your medicine cabinet may be associated with an increased risk of psoriatic arthritis. According to the results of a study published this month in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica, long-term use of drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen could more than double your risk for developing the disease.

The National Institutes of Health-funded study used a large medical database, known as the Nurses' Health Study II, to search for an association between regular use of aspirin, acetaminophen and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. “Regular use” was defined as taking the drug at least twice a week.

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