Anaesthetics and Polio

This paper was presented by Selma Harrison Calmes, M.D at the International Polio Network’s Eighth International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, June 8-10, 2000.

Dr. Calmes’ other article on this website (from 2009) “Summary Of Anesthesia Issues For Post-polio Patients” was primarily intended for physicians: Anaesthetic Papers for Polio

Anaesthesia Concerns for the Polio survivor

Here are some specific concerns about pain relief:

#1 Deadly Pain Med:  Cox-2 Inhibitors (Celebrex, celecoxib)
Those taking 400mg doses have 250% greater risk of dying from heart attack or stroke … and those taking the 800mg doses have 340% times the risk!

#2 Deadly Pain Med:  Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen, naproxen)
The odds of dying from taking an NSAID after just two months is around 1 in 1,200.  NSAIDs cause gastrointestinal ulcers and severe bleeding, so short courses (three days) are advised.

#3 Deadly Pain Med:  Opiate-Based Pain Meds (Vicodin, Lorcet, Norco, Percocet, Percodan, hydrocodone, oxycodone) 
Most of the deaths in the U.S. from drug overdoses were caused by opiates. Use the smallest amount you need.

#4 Deadly Pain Med:  Paracetamol / Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Every year, more than 56,000 people visit the emergency rooms due to acetaminophen overdoses.  It’s the leading cause of acute liver failure—causing nearly half of all cases! However, taken in the correct dosages, it is one of our safest drugs.

#5 Deadly Pain Med:  Salicylates (Aspirin, acetylsalicylate) 
Higher doses or prolonged use at the lower dose—even in buffered or coated form—can double your likelihood of perforated ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Ensure you use the correct dose.

Alert: Deadly Pain Medications

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