Promoting an Optimal Response to Therapy

The nurse should give the NSAIDs with food, milk, or antacids. Patients who do not experience a therapeutic response to one NSAID may have such a response to another NSAID. However, several weeks of treatment may be necessary to receive full therapeutic response. The NSAIDs are prescribed for the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Because older adults have a higher incidence of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and may use the NSAID on a long-term basis, they are...

Educating the Patient and Family

In many instances, an NSAID may be prescribed for a prolonged period, such as when the patient has arthritis. Some patients may discontinue their drug use, fail to take the drug at the prescribed or recommended intervals, increase the dose, or decrease the time interval between doses, especially if there is an increase or decrease in their symptoms. The patient and family must understand that the drug is to be taken even though symptoms have been relieved. The nurse develops a teaching plan to...

Health Supplement Alert Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Both glucosamine and chondroitin are used, in combination or alone, to treat arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. Chondroitin acts as the flexible connecting matrix between the protein filaments in cartilage. Chondroitin can be produced in the laboratory or can come from natural sources (eg, shark cartilage). Some studies suggest that if chondroitin sulfate is available to the cell matrix, synthesis of the matrix can occur. For this reason it is used to treat arthritis. Although there is not...