Pharmacist Moses Oluwalade is the managing director, Miraflash Nigeria Limited, one of the prominent indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nigeria. In this interview with Pharmanews, Oluwalade who has a masters degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Lagos, highlighted some effective remedies for pain, rheumatism and arthritis. Excerpts.
As a pharmacist, what is your view about pain, rheumatism and arthritis?
Well, pain, rheumatism and arthritis are reactions. They could be reactions to environment, age or the food you eat. If you feel pain, it is a sign that something is wrong with your system. Pain is an unpleasant feeling. For an instance, if you sit down for a long time, you begin to feel pain at your lower back; that is a sign that something is wrong.
So the reaction that something is wrong can come in form of pain. If you are the type that walks long distance, as times goes on, and you grow old, your body will begin to react to it. If you have been walking one hour before, you will discover that you can’t do more than 30 minutes again and if you try to do more than that, you will begin to feel pain.
Pain could be from any part of the body; it could from your leg, it could be from your head (headache) it could be from the back (backache) among others. These are reactions that all is not well in the system.
What do you consider as the remote causes of rheumatism and arthritis?
Rheumatism and arthritis are as a result of inflammation in the affected part of the body. Rheumatism and arthritis are predominant among the elders. The way they use their body while they were still young could bring a reaction when they are old and the reaction could be rheumatism or arthritis, depending on the location. The location depends on the name. It could be inflammation at the joint, at the ankle or knee.
Are rheumatism and arthritis avoidable?
Well, they may not be 100 per cent avoidable, but they can be reduced. They also come with age. The older you are, the likelihood that you will have rheumatism and arthritis. But they can be reduced based on your lifestyle.
What lifestyle choices can help?
Regular exercise, for instance, can help to reduce rheumatism and arthritis pain to a large extent. For an instance, an old person can decide to take a walk around, rather than sitting down in one place for too long.
What are the remedies for rheumatism and arthritis?
There are about two types of remedy. The first one is the non-pharmaceutical remedy and this may include slight regular exercise as well as dieting – that is, the kind of food to be eaten. The second remedy is the application of medication.
On medication, there are medications that can be applied internally and there are some that can be applied externally. The internal medication involves the use of some analgesic through the mouth. The external medication are the ones applied on the affected part of the body externally. This is where a product like Miragel comes to play.
Can arthritis and rheumatism be removed completely from the body?
Yes, though it may take time. With one’s lifestyle and medication, one can get rid of it from the body.
Do analgesics have negative effects on the body system?
Yes, just like every other drug. In fact, any medicine is a potential poison.
How do you mean?
Whenever you take any medicine, there is an effect. This is the reason you should take medicine only when it is necessary. You don’t take medicine anyhow. For some people, once they have a headache, they take analgesic, which is wrong.
Instead, when you have pain, the first thing is to find out the cause of the pain. When you have a headache, find out the cause first before talking any medicine. Don’t just take analgesic because it has effect on the body system, especially when you take it over and over again.
For instance, excessive paracetamol can damage the liver and that will be a big problem. Indiscriminate use of analgesic is not good. I use paracetamol as an example because it is the most commonly used analgesic. But, aside from paracetamol, there are other medicines that have analgesic property. There is a group of medicines, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. These are analgesics that also have anti-inflammatory property. They act as analgesic, they cure pain but they also remove inflammation.
What is your message to people with rheumatism and arthritis?
They should go to the hospital for a test first and that is when the right medicine or remedy can be prescribed or recommended.