Safe Use of Pharmacologic Measures in the Treatment of Aging Athletes


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Abstract

SummaryThe proliferation of sports and recreational activity among aging athletes will increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries in this population. Although most of these injuries are benign, people desire a quick fix that will enable resumption of activity as soon as possible. This may be facilitated through the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and other pharmacologic measures. The analgesic and antiinflammatory actions of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs make them the preferred pharmacologic treatment of injured athletes. The adverse effects and drug interactions often encountered with these drugs can usually be anticipated and controlled. Other therapeutic options include acetaminophen, or the addition of useful adjunctive therapies such as narcotics, muscle relaxants, and topical analgesics may also be useful. Corticosteroids provide the most potent antiinflammatory activity, and their use by intraarticular injection offers an effective and safe alternative in the nonresponsive individual. Knowledge of the effects that aging has on the disposition and action of these drugs can help insure their safe and effective use in these athletes.

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