Tuesday, September 7, 2021


 Back in February I wrote a post about Ammonia Poisoning In Sickle Cell and narrated my sister's first time experience with this. By the end of that post, I shared that all of her medication had to be reviewed in order to prevent a re-occurrence which would also include all of the Over The Counter (OTC) drugs she was taking, in particular the regular pain killers like Tylenol, Aleve etc she used to treat any mild sickle cell pain.

It is not unusual for sickle cell patients to be prescribed over the counter medication to help deal with pain; medication like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are examples of some pain relievers that can be taken to alleviate mild-moderate sickle cell pain. Morphine and Oxycodone are prescribed when the pain is more severe. Because sickle cell disease can get complicated and complications are almost always inevitable, over the counter medication has to be carefully prescribed by a doctor. This is to prevent against adverse reactions like seizures or aggravating hepatic impairments.

I should state at this point that no OTC medication is completely risk free because they react differently from one patient to another which is why they are typically prescribed with caution. Other than to help with pain management, reducing fever and inflammation, these drugs also work by inhibiting an enzyme called CYCLOOXYGENASE aka COX. It has 2 forms- COX 1 which does the following below:

- help maintain kidney function

- protect stomach lining from stomach acid & digestive enzymes

- responsible for stimulating blood clotting at sites of injury 

While COX 2 is produced in areas that are injured or inflamed as part of the inflammatory response. Again, it is important to have these medications prescribed by a medical professional to prevent complications.

I hope this bit of information helps anyone living with sickle cell or knows someone who does. Always ask your doctor about what OTC meds or NSAIDS are right for you and your manifestations of this disease.

Excess Love,


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