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Friday, December 17, 2004

Inflammation causes Lichen Planus???

NSAIDS are and acronym for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Ibuprofen, aspirin and others related, act upon the prostaglandins in our bodies to help reduce arthritic type of inflammation.

Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex are NSAIDS, too, but they are Cox-2 inhibitors. They don't work on the prostaglandins. Vioxx is of course, off the market now. If you have arthritis and need an anti-inflammatory, and cannot take the ones that work through the prostaglandins (they cause stomach ulcers) and you are now not able to take Vioxx, you might want to ask your doctor if you can try Celebrex or Bextra. Even though they are all Cox-2 inhibitors, it is my understanding that the formula for Vioxx and Celebrex, for example are somewhat different.

I took Vioxx for four years for my arthritis. I had Lichen Planus before I ever took it. Only in this last year did it become Erosive Oral Lichen Planus. I went off Vioxx, and most other meds I was on to eliminate the possibility that they had caused my OLP. Nothing changed. My Oral Specialist says that she does not believe that Vioxx was a cause of my OLP.

If you go to www.pubmed.com and type Oral Lichen Planus in the search engine, it will bring up 1088 article abstracts, the most recent published this month. Click on Display and abstract and it will open up and give more info. Even though some of them are written in scientific jargon, the ones written in more normal medical terms are fairly easy to figure out. Doing so will help for the next doctor visit, to have something to discuss, to ask questions, to get answers. If necessary, print out the paper that you are interested in and take it with you to the appointment.

I have now been started on Prednisone and only after a few days there is considerable improvement! Now I don't feel so hopeless! I know there are risks involved, but it will be worth it. My tongue has stopped shaking when I try to stick it out. I can almost chew now, and the pain has subsided down beneath a ten on the scale. The lesions on top of my tongue have begun to close and smooth over. Underneath tongue and back by tonsils are still nasty but doctor thinks will improve soon, too.

I think it is curious how something that one person can use cannot be used by another. For example, I cannot use biotene. It has peppermint flavoring in it and that just burns me like crazy. Same thing with Protopic. Yet others have good use of both of these products. What makes the difference? Genetics?

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