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Ibuprofen

jeff001

Active Member
#1
Can someone please advise me of the availability of ibuprofen in Spain? In the US it is available in large quantities at low cost without prescription but I know that in some countries you can only obtain small quantities at much higher prices.
 

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Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
#2
It is available at the pharmacies and also ibuprofen cream which works really well on sore muscles.
 

jeff001

Active Member
#3
Any idea of the price? When I was in Austria a couple of years ago it was easy to find but you could buy a max of 8 - 200 mg tabs and the cost was something like 6 euro.
 
#4
I paid about 5 euro for a pack of 24. Watch the strength though, I think they were 600mg rather than 200mg which is the usual stength. I only realised after several days of taking 3 a day. They worked well though!
 
#5
I admit to being a regular user of Ibuprofen especially when I got tendonitis on the Camino Frances in May/June this year. They seem to be easily available and not expensive - ask at any Farmacia - the name is the same but pronounce the I as ee not eye. However, yes, they do vary in strength and though you may get away with overdosing, you risk side effects (e.g. indigestion).

Have fun
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#6
On the advice of a student who used to be a professional basketplayer, and thus very accustomed to aching joints, I took 8 200g ibuprofen a day for the entire camino frances. I know that amount can cause upset, but I am fortunate to have an iron stomach. I brought along a little baggie with about 300 in it and am glad I didn't have to spend 5E every three days. If you do this, make sure to keep taking it for a few days afterwards. One of my most painful moments on the Camino was when we walked down close to the water from the cape at Finisterre and then took the bus back to Santiago. When I stood up as the bus arrived in Santiago, I realized my knees were totally wrecked and very painful. I got right back on my dosage and they were fine in a day.
 
#7
I can confirm everybody else's advice here.

"Ibuprofena", as it's called in Spain was available without the need for a prescription and at a relatively low cost.

I was taking it for a sore back and discovered after I stopped taking it for that complaint that it sometimes masks problems that are developing elsewhere. In my case it was tendonitis in the shin area which I only discovered when I stopped taking the medication. As a doctor warned me, it is important to be careful when taking Ibuprofen as it masks the body's way of telling us we've overdone it- i.e. pain.

Buen camino
John :)
 
#8
Just a piece of advice: to avoid paying more for the same thing with a fancy name, avoid brand names (e.g. Nurofen). All pharmacies have plain ole' cheap Ibuprofen (which is the active ingredient) but they will usually try to sell you the most expensive brands first. (Pharmaceutical companies compete to create the most efficient excipients or various combinations of other minute and virtually uneccessary substances, and thus sell it for a higher price.) Pester them to make sure they've given you the plain pill. :)
 
#9
Ibuprofen = Vitamin I

AAAHhhhhhh... Ibuprofen is also known as vitamin "I" by long-distance hikers, especially on the Appalachian Trail, where the first dose of the day is taken almost immediately just after the eyes open after waking from sleep
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#10
I feel that if you have to take ibuprofen daily, wether it be 1 or 2 or an industrial quantity, there is a problem and it should be taken care of instead of dulling the pain.

I remind everyone that ibuprofen is not recommended if you have a heart problem, supposing you know you have one.
 

marktqm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006)
#11
Not once did I take Ibuprofen on the camino. (I'm allergic to it.)

Ulysse and the other post-ers have a point. If it's painful, your body is telling you something. Attend to the cause, a stopgap measure such as taking a painkiller might even make things worse.

The best solution: rest. The body will heal itself given enough time.
(Unfortunately, pilgrims are always in a 'hurry' and believe they have to keep walking.)
 
#14
Be careful! Last year I had a bad ankle injury in Burgos and walked on it to Portomarin taking lots of Ibuprofen to try and pretend that I was not hurt. I finshed my Camino at Portomarin, being unable to walk another step. I have just had my second lot of surgery on the ankle in 5 months, to try and repair some of the damage I did.

Use Ibuprofen wisely - Listen to what your body is telling you as well!
 
#15
Ibuprofen can cause serious stomach problems as well as the obvious numbing thing that lets you walk on a foot that should be rested.

That said........I found they do both 400mg and 800mg over the counter. 800mg is more than people in the uk usually take as a full dose so to have it in one pill!

A better option for swollen ankles or sore feet is Diclofenca gel/oitment. Voltaren was one brand name...cant remember the other. Its called Diclofenac anyway in spanish and it's waaaay better than ibuprofen. Used to have it prescribed for a bad back. Great stuff that cream - saved our ankles!
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#16
I had an odd experience with ibuprofen on the Camino. At a pharmacia in Logrono, the seemingly helpful young tech sold me 200mg chewable tablets, and I'd take one or two a day. When they ran out after awhile, I showed the empty package to the owner of another pharmacia in order to get some more. He looked at the package, pointed to his young son, and explained to me that this type/dosage was for children! He then sold me the adult dosage (somewhere between 400 - 600mg), along with ibuprofen gel.

I felt like I was ripped off by the first guy, but then again, I should've gone to Spain armed with a better knowledge of Euro (i.e. metric) measurments and dosages. Live and learn, I guess...
 

jeff001

Active Member
#17
In reply to my own original question: Ibuprofen is readily available without presciption. It was in 600 mg caplets (200 is the max available OTC in the US) at about E4-5 for 40. The price per milligram is about the same as in the US.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#18
As others have mentioned, ibuprofen is available in tablet, chewable, or gel form. When I got the 200mg type, it was chewable - and as the farmacist said, that particular dosage was for children. He recommended the 600mg tablets for adults. I don't remember it being too expensive, either (Jeff001's figure of 4-5 Euros sounds right). I also used some ibuprofen gel on my feet and other sore parts - good stuff.

And yes, I agree that one shouldn't go too far in numbing pain. It is the body's warning system, and ignoring or medicating it too much can lead to physical damage. As with most things, moderation is the key... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#19
Mid way thru my career...I exited a helicopter from the wrong door...OOPS. Once put back together I found that I still had both knee and hip pain. I told the Doc I wouldn't take incapacitating drugs...so vitamin I. Sadly, I got to the point where, as a professional football official (soccer) I had to take 2400mg to get thru one 90 min. men's match. When I went on the AT...had it not been for VI, I wouldn't have completed it!

Now, I fully agree that so much is not good, because it only masks a larger problem. I am lucky that I have a good stomach and kidneys, that said, My South African Pa, convinced me to have knee surgery. He had two and was going in for his third in twenty years. He still played tennis, hiked all over the world and was ready to go again. I was sold! Sadly, again, while in hospital, he contracted pneumonia and never recovered.

Unlike the AT, Vinotinto has convinced me once again of the error of my ways. I am not going to have the knee surgery before my Camino, but I will buy the first round in every town I stop!

Arn
 
#20
It always amazes me that people take powerful drugs and medicines without understanding the nature of the substance.IBUPROFEN is a powerful anti-inflamatory drug which is very effective when used correctly.
Like ALL medications it should only be used as prescribed otherwise you are playing at Russian Roulette.
Some of the side effects have already been mentioned.Another major danger is to take this drug if you have high blood-pressure when it can cause heart attacks.Bearing in mind that the very act of walking with a pack will cause a rise in blood pressure straight away you are increasing your chance of a heart attack.
Why people are surprised that they have aching muscles at the end of a days hard slog is wierd.Of course you will.
Try some stretching exercises and a hot/bath or shower.
If you have been carrying a heavy backpack the strain on your muscles will be greatly increased.You should be carrying no more than about ten percent of your body weight.
Aching muscles are natural.After a while your muscles will become stronger and the aches and pains will lessen and go away.
As for the professional basket-ball player mentioned by Peregrina 2000-he was being stupid and unprofessional.A fact about all medications is that they become less effective with prolonged use.The basket-ball player was probably addicted to the drug.
At the end of the day it is up to you.If you really can't cope with the discomfort then perhaps IBUPROFEN is better than most drugs but should only be used for a short time and within prescribed dosage.Before you swollow the tablets do give the gell a try.Remember medication that is strong enough to kill pain is not a sweet even though people treat it as though it is.
I say all this as a recently retired charge nurse who has seen the end result of abuse of medicines too often.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#21
rafferty said:
you are increasing your chance of a heart attack.
Yeah, but what a way to go - on a pilgrimage trail heading for transcendance! As my uncle used to say, "if you ain't got no dope, you ain't got no hope!" :wink: Of course, he was a child of the 60s and 70s, so stuff like that was par for the course.

As for me, I am a proponent of better living through chemistry, and sometimes you gotta medicate - why else are these things upon the earth? However, your admonitions to be careful are valid, and as you allude, the old saying holds true: Everything in moderation... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#22
Rafferty has some sage counsel and I would suggest everyone take note!

I've asked a number of folks my age (60'ish} if they have a "pre/post-problem" solution to the joint issue. And, who should come up with a suggestion but my Son Christopher (half my age). He called me from the airport in California waiting for a return flight thru to Kabul, Afghanistan. Yup, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...or so I'm told.

Chris recommended that I try GLUCOSAMINE (HCL) (1500mg) and Chondroitin Sulfate (1200mg) tablets. These were recommended to him by his PT as he was going thru 18 months of therapy to put him back together. I guess it works because he's back in the thick of it. He indicated that, once you begin taking the tablets you have to continue for at least 30 days for them to have any real effect.

What say you...Nurse Rafferty? By the way, My Uncle Marty was the very first male nurse graduated from the US Navy Hospital School at San Diego, CA in 1942. Good on ya bloke!

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#23
Arn said:
Chris recommended that I try GLUCOSAMINE (HCL) (1500mg) and Chondroitin Sulfate (1200mg) tablets.
I took this stuff as well (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM) while on the Way. I've been using it since 1998, when I had the torn ACL rebuilt in my left knee. My other knee has been hammered as well, so I need all the preventative help I can get. I believe it works, at least psychologically.

To reduce weight, I bought enough of a two-tablet-a-day dosage (all of the above ingredients were combined in one pill) to last for the entire trek, and then some. I'm not sure how available it is in Spain, so I figured it was better to be safe than sorry... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#24
Chris also recommended I go to Costco...where I was able to get the combined tablets...170 per bottle. I'm sure other outlets may have them also, i.e. Sam's Club, BJ's, etc.

On a different note: has anyone had any problem with getting medications through customs?

I've noticed that the "prescription" drug laws are different from nation to nation. In some countries, opiates can be purchased over the counter. That's one end of the spectrum...of course, but the other end is as well. Might there be a problem with Vitamin "I", or the G/C tablets?

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#25
Arn said:
Chris also recommended I go to Costco...where I was able to get the combined tablets...170 per bottle. I'm sure other outlets may have them also, i.e. Sam's Club, BJ's, etc.

On a different note: has anyone had any problem with getting medications through customs?

I've noticed that the "prescription" drug laws are different from nation to nation. In some countries, opiates can be purchased over the counter. That's one end of the spectrum...of course, but the other end is as well. Might there be a problem with Vitamin "I", or the G/C tablets?
I've brought lots of vitamins and vitamin/mineral packs with me on three trips to Europe and two to Mexico without incident. On my Camino trip, just to prevent the possibility of an issue, I separated each type of vitamin into its own baggie, and then cut out part of the packaging label and put it into the baggie for easy identification (especially handy if a customs agent asks me, "what the heck is this?"). Even so, no one's ever questioned me about them, so perhaps they are trained well enough to know the difference.

As for perscription drugs: You need to bring all the pertinent info with you, and even then you might have an issue due to the language barrier and local laws. Indeed, you might want to also get a letter from your doctor if opiates or other controlled narcotics are involved. And it would help to know the Spanish translation of whatever drug you needed.

It's best to bring everything you need, because getting a refill might be difficult. I saw one English-speaking couple blocked from refilling the husband's pain pill perscription at a farmacia. He showed the farmacist his bottle, but couldn't produce proof of perscription. Despite their pleas (apparently he was in a lot of pain), they were unable to help him. Ironically, the same farmacia spoke English, and helped me get the right kind of ibuprofen, so I know he wasn't being obstinate. :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#26
Great insight on packaging and labeling. I'm working on my Spanish, but doubt I'd be capable of explaining the different "pain" tablets...maybe just chuck'em all and keep up with the vinotinto along the way.
Gracias!
Arn
 
#27
Re: Ibuprofen - Joint health

I took a box of Emergen-C with me to the Camino. A little extra weight at first, but each day I was one packet lighter. It is called "Emergen-C Joint Health", tangerine flavored. I put it in one of my water bottles and drank 1 each day. The box comes with 36 packets. It has Glucosamine 500mg and Chondroitin 400 mg, along with Vitamin C 1000mg and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals in smaller quantities. This was recommended by Grant Spangler in another site and swore by it. I took it and other than the days where I overdid it on the downhills, I did great, my knees were thankful.
Joyful,
Lillian
 
#28
I would love a pound/euro/dollar for every patient I have treated with vinotintos cavalier attitude to prescription drugs."They are necessary,why not,I can take them,I didn't know they were so strong,I never read the packet,I wish I hadn't bothered,why me,somebody told me they were OK",etc,etc---just some of the comments I have heard after the event.
I have been a serious walker since my teens and am now in my 60th year.When I overdo it I still occasionally get aches and pains in my muscles.However I do not see this as unnatural so I do not reach for chemicals as there is no cure required.
In my mid twenties I had a motorbike accident and smashed my knee pretty badly.When it was mended and fully healed I had to rebuild my muscles which took a while.I did then rely on minimum doses of painkiller.I do accept that there is a place for medication but only where necessary.I stopped taking the pills ASAP and I was soon back on my bike,something I still do most everyday on my BMW.
ARN mentioned the use of Glucosamine which has proved to be effective for many people particularly elderly people with stiff joints.
Arn, say hello to your uncle for me.He must have had an interesting time way back then.I started in 1968 and it was seen as quite odd even then for a guy to go into nursing.
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#29
The first time I walked the camino, I took 200 mg ibuprofen with me. My body only laughed at that puny dosage. Thinking I needed another kind of pain killer, I went to a pharmacia & was given 600 mg Ibuprofen. That stuff worked! However, I already knew that continual usage at that dosage could cause problems, so I only took it at night, after a meal, once per day. Then every other day, since it was working so well on the pain I had experienced, that I didn't need it every day. :)

Of course, now I see that I could have simply taken 3 of my 200 mg pills, but that wasn't as much fun as going to a pharmacy & practicing my Spanish. :lol:

Kelly
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#30
John, how do you feel about homeopathic medications such as Traumeel?
I am asthmatic so do not use Ibuprofens. When I was still running, I used to start taking traumeel three days before an ultra-marathon, during the race, and for three days after. Traumeel are anti-inflammatory and analgesic and are supposed to be good for sprains, bruises, post-operative or post-injury swelling, etc., as well as various arthritic conditions. Perhaps they would be a good alternative for those who can't tolerate other drugs?
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#31
rafferty said:
I would love a pound/euro/dollar for every patient I have treated with vinotintos cavalier attitude to prescription drugs
Yeah, I'm kind of naughty that way - I need to be spanked! :) Good thing we're focusing on over-the-counter stuff here, although as you say, even those can be abused. But since life is 100% fatal, I can't bring myself to get overly anal about stuff like that.

However, at times I caught myself wishing that Amsterdam was on the Camino. Man, that would've been somewhat helpful, especially during the early, painful stages of the Way. Unfortunately, I don't think US customs would've allowed me to bring back a souvenier scallop-adorned bong, though... :shock: :lol:
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#32
Arn said:
maybe just chuck'em all and keep up with the vinotinto along the way.
Well, someone on the Way told me that in the olden days, it was the drunkard pilgrims that tended to make it to Santiago - more so than their drier brethren. Guess the vino helped kill the pain and keep the nasties away. It certainly worked for me, especially since I avoided getting falling-down drunk...as the great philosopher Dirty Harry said, "a man's got to know his limitations." :wink:

Of course, my Spanish friends were a bit more adventurous than I. One night (I believe it was at Portomarin), we all went out and had a nice dinner. After that, we stopped for drinks here and there, and ended up at the restaurant over my albergue. We nailed some orujo, and since it was getting late I staggered down to bed, as did a couple others in the group. However, five or six of the die-hards (guys and gals) kept hitting the demon liquor until they began to dare each other to start walking that night. Well, you know how daring and booze mix...

They grabbed a bottle of orujo, ran down to their albergue, got their gear, and headed off on the Camino - at around midnight. The idea was to "see the stars" and experience the Milky Way magic. Unfortunately, the stars were obscured by clouds, and it began to rain. They spent the rest of the night drinking and huddling under their ponchos in a grassy area next to the trail. Ah, youth...;-)
 
#33
Sillydoll.Yes Traumeel is very effective and with far less chance of having side effects.The way you used it is spot on.
It comes in tablet,gell and ointment forms.For aching muscles as experienced on the Camino though I would prefer the gell or ointment.This can be massaged into the specific area where the discomfort is felt.If you take any tablets remember that the drug will be absorbed into your bloodstream and then will pass through all of your various organs.I consider this to be overkill for an aching calf/thigh muscle.
Some people will be put off Traumeel as it is categorised as homeopathic.It should be seen as alternative perhaps.It is a fairly complex preparation with well tried ingredients such as arnica montana,aconitum and echinacea among others.
When I mentioned prescription drugs previously I meant to include over the counter medications,afterall they come with the manufacturers prescribed dosage as opposed to recreational drugs.
Lastly Vinotintos idea of a glass or two of wine with your evening meal is my idea of self-medication.Possibly explains why I very rarely suffer unduly from aching muscles.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#34
I have never come across Traumeel and must do some research.

Then again, Vintotinto and I join a majority of folks enjoying self medicating with a bit of the grape!

I can understand why Sil is a strong advocate of Traumeel...pass me your glass Sil!

Arn
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#35
Wish I could get my hands on some Traumeel. The farmacia-ista in Sahagun gave me That Look when I asked her for it. (the look I got everywhere I askfor Tea Tree oil, or vanilla extract, or maple flavoring...)

For non-Rx painkillers in Spain, the dose of choice is Paracetemol. Cheap, easy to find, extremely effective, and I am not allergic to it... and I am allergic to everything!
I think in US it is called Motrin.

Tinto makes a great chaser.
Reb.
 
#37
MermaidLilli said:
It is called "Emergen-C Joint Health", tangerine flavored. I put it in one of my water bottles and drank 1 each day. The box comes with 36 packets. It has Glucosamine 500mg and Chondroitin 400 mg, along with Vitamin C 1000mg and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals in smaller quantities.
Sounds interesting- I would like to find something similar in Britain. It would be also a great way to have more tasty drink than just water.
Talking of Ibuprofen:
My mother is a nurse in polish national health service. Since I was very young- she stuffed me with drugs of any kind (that's what they used to do back then in our country)- antibiotics, painkillers, tons of vitamins, minerals. I have had some injections as well. I'm 26 now and stuff like Ibuprofen, Paracetamol in quantities you are talking about is just not enough. I would have to take probably some 4-5 500mg Ibuprofens tablets just to feel ANY reaction in my organism. The more you take- the more you need next time, so it is worth considering if you really need a pill for your next headache.
Take care (but not too much:))
Kuba.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#38
The cheapest place to buy Ibuprofen is Pound shops in the UK: 3 packs of 16 for a pound!!! In Spain it seems to come in weird strengths, as several people mention. I only took one each evening to keep a lid on inflammation, and I didn't take it in the daytime ever, becuase I don't believe in masking pain: if your body is hurting it is telling you to take a rest.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#39
Vitamin I

Ranger Candy

Ibuprofen works. My doctor prescribed 1000 mg two to three times a day for lower back pain, so I guess it is not too toxic in large doses. I did find that at that dose, if I got a nosebleed, it did not like to stop! With dust and allergies on the Camino that could aggravate my nose, I stayed with 400 mg 3 to 4 times per day, and had no problems.

I ran out at Sahagun, and paid more for a couple of dozen pills than I pay in the U.S. for a bottle of several hundred. Since they don't weigh anything to speak of, take all that you could possible need and save a bit of money.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
#40
My boyfriend took about 3 pills of 600mg a day the last 2 weeks of our camino. Helped him get rid of his sore knees. I still don't know how to feel about this, but at this point I am so far that I will probably be taking some on my next camino. You never know.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2012 Portuguese Rte
2013 Chemin Le Puy
2014 Via Francigena
#41
If you're taking high doses of Ibuprofen for any length of time please ensure you take it with some food. Prolonged use can be hard on stomach lining. Been there.

Eric
 

CaminoGen

CF May-June 2011; Oloron to Fisterra Sept-Oct 2013
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances-SJPP. Santiago (2011); Oloron to Fisterra (Sept 5-Oct 23 2013)
#42
We called them pilgrim candies. Lots of people survive on those the last few weeks. I took two 600 in the morning and 2 before going to bed. They kept me from tightening up too much.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#43
Rebekah Scott said:
For non-Rx painkillers in Spain...I think in US it is called Motrin.
Paracetamol is in the US Acetominaphen, brand name Tylenol. Motrin is a brand name for iboprophen.
 

zakosdad

CaminoWalkers
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2013 CF Sept (2019?)
#44
The recommended maximum daily dose of ibuprofen is 2400mg a day - normally taken in divided doses. 600mg 4 times a day or 800mg 3 times a day provides a steady blood level. it should be taken with food or milk to buffer the stomach. It may thin the blood just as aspirin does so be careful and if you take a blood thinner i.e. warfarin, or clopidogrel, then check with your doctor to be sure it is safe to take. It may raise blood pressure in some people and there is a slight relationship with heart patients and possible heart attacks - if a heart patient, avoid naproxen as there is a definite relationship with heart attacks. Ibuprofen is a NSAID - not all NSAIDS have a direct relationship with heart attack. Excessive dosing may lead to stomach ulcers - so be forewarned.

NSAIDS - non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - work to reduce inflammation and in that process also alleviate pain - thus its pain killing effect. If you know that you are going to develop pain then it would be smarter to pre-medicate i.e. take the dose before you cause the pain. For an average adult 400mg or 600mg is adequate taken with food early in the morning may mean avoiding multiple dosing throughout the day. Most people treat pain wrong - they wait until they have the pain then take their medication only to wait for hours for relief - if you know that you are going to create a pain scenario i.e. down hill trekking, better to take a dose before you set out. That way your body will have what it needs to protect itself against the upcoming inflammation.

It is NOT a vitamin and should never be referred to as such - it should not be taken on a daily basis unless your doctor has advised such - it is a PRN (pro re nata - as the need arises) and only taken if and when needed.

Diclofenac is also an NSAID the dose is different. If travelling - although it is available almost everywhere, it would be smarter to bring with you - one less thing to worry about purchasing in a foreign country and then you know you have the correct dose. 200mg is for older children 400mg for small adults 600mg for average adults 800mg for larger adults or for severe pain. 800mg of ibuprofen will provide as much pain relief as a Tylenol w/codeine #3 or Vicodin 5mg

Tylenol - acetominophen - is also available almost everywhere. It is a pain killer and has very low effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory drug. Maximum dose is 4000mg per day - normal adult dose is 250mg 4 times a day. Most people overdose this drug by taking 500mg 4 times a day - that should not be necessary - but effective marketing has convinced people that more is better. Acetaminophen is toxic to the liver and if you are a drinker - should be avoided. If you cannot tolerate ibuprofen or one of the other NSAIDS then try acetaminophen, but keep the dose low and like the NSAIDS only take when needed.

Pain will happen on a long walk - it is inevitable unless you are really fit or walk really slow - massaging the feet, taking breaks, proper shoes and socks go a long walk to avoid foot pain - but if pain does develop better to be prepared :)
Buen Camino
 

jeff001

Active Member
#46
An alternative to high doses of ibuprofen is to use Voltaren emulgel. This is gel form of diclofenac that can be applied directly to affected area and is very effective. It is widely available OTC in Spain and other european countries and has recently been approved by the US FDA by prescription.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#47
zakosdad said:
It may thin the blood just as aspirin does so be careful and if you take a blood thinner i.e. warfarin, or clopidogrel,

A good point-----I have volunteered as an EMT and ski patrol in the US and Canada. We always tell people after an injury, no ibuprofen or in particular, asprin, and no heat for the first couple of days. If you twist an ankle or suffer an injury which induces swelling, ice it and wrap it. The protocol in Canada allowed acetaminophen (tylenol), which does not cause blood thinning.

Before my EMT training I once managed to spread a nasty thigh bruise over my entire leg with asprin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#48
Re:

marktqm said:
... Ibuprofen ... The best solution: rest. The body will heal itself given enough time. (Unfortunately, pilgrims are always in a 'hurry' and believe they have to keep walking.)
Isn't this a sad situation ... modern drugs to help pilgrims hurry . :shock:
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#49
Re: Re:

BrianForbesColgate said:
Isn't this a sad situation ... modern drugs to help pilgrims hurry . :shock:


Yes, we should all live in the world of the medieval pilgrims, suffer and die rather than use any modern medicine.

I just got an x-ray guided steroid injection in my neck, which brought instant relief to months of pain. Ibuprofen will help prevent re-inflamation. I am off next week on a trip I thought might not happen. Sorry I was in such a hurry to get better.
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
#50
I find it disturbing how cavalier some people are over putting chemicals into your body without knowing how they work. Your poor liver is really getting a work out filtering all these chemicals out. A lot of medications have been de scheduled in order to make them cheaper for a prescription.
It's a good job ketamine isn't available over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription. :)
It wouldn't fix the problem, but you just wouldn't care.
I see there have been comments from fellow medical people. A lot were followed with comments of "yeah, whatever"
Pain receptors detect swelling at cellular level.
Mix vino with pain med's and your poor organs will suffer.
See your doc first and have a checkup.
A little knowledge is dangerous at times. :)
What's wrong with aspirin.... It's a great NSAID just take with water. Brufen is well marketed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, (2015)
#51
max44 said:
I find it disturbing how cavalier some people are over putting chemicals into your body without knowing how they work. Your poor liver is really getting a work out filtering all these chemicals out. A lot of medications have been de scheduled in order to make them cheaper for a prescription.
Couldn't agree more max44. I am all for taking advantage of technical advancements such as modern kit to improve your experience and happily support ideas such as pack transfer services, pre-booking accommodation etc, but I find the idea of the continual daily use of high dose of pain killers and anti inflammatory medicine to be extraordinary.

One of the ways our bodies communicate to us is through pain. Some pain is good (eg mild muscle soreness from healthy exertion) and other pain is a message that we need to change our behaviour (eg joint and tendon inflammation). Inflammation, for example, plays an important role in the healing process. When we mask this with medicine and push on rather than allowing our body to heal, our body pays a price.

So while I respect the right of people to treat their own bodies how they choose and I am not saying that it is wrong to use medicine the way you see fit, I wonder where we draw the line between a positive determination to reach our goal and an obsession to finish at all costs.

May you be blessed with pain and injury free endeavours.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#52
May you be blessed with pain and injury free endeavours.
And if you are not, reach for the ice and NSAIDs! :wink:

Some of us have arthritis, neuroma, flat feet, and other conditions that indicate a life in an easy chair is appropriate. I hope chemicals for us are OK in your eyes, not that we really care... :twisted:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, (2015)
#53
Like I said mate, not suggesting that one approach is right or wrong or OK or not OK, just wondering out loud.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#54
While I appreciate the concern you shown for my liver and joints, I can make my own decisions. If I finish this life with my joints unscathed, my liver happy, my skin never burned and all my brain cells intact, I'll feel I wasted it. I aim to leave a totally burned out, used up carcass. And live life to the full along the way.
 

Peronel

Active Member
#55
zakosdad said:
Diclofenac is also an NSAID the dose is different. If travelling - although it is available almost everywhere, it would be smarter to bring with you - one less thing to worry about purchasing in a foreign country and then you know you have the correct dose. 200mg is for older children 400mg for small adults 600mg for average adults 800mg for larger adults or for severe pain. 800mg of ibuprofen will provide as much pain relief as a Tylenol w/codeine #3 or Vicodin 5mg

To clarify, the doses listed in ths paragraph are for ibuprofen, not diclofenac. The latter is typically given as 50mg three times a day or 75mg slow release twice daily. At least in the UK - who knows what happens else where.

In the UK, the maximum over the counter dose of ibuprofen is 400mg four times a day, and pills are sold as 200mg or 400mg. In Spain, the normal over the counter presentation is 600mg, which in England would be a prescription only dose. Greater painkilling effect, and greater risk of a stomach bleed.

Does it matter? Probably not for short-term use, except if an English pilgrim - unable to read the Spanish instructions - takes two tablets automatically, because that's what they'd do at home.

If you don't need the larger dose (or get stomach problems with it) then Spanish pharmacies do stock 200mg tablets for kids. I had a cold, and only needed 200mg. The pharmacist sold it to me, but was obviously confused by the strange request from the foreigner!

There's some evidence from the sports medicine world that the inflammatory processes which cause the pain after exercise also trigger muscle development. It's not proven, but the suggestion is that regular NSAID use stops the performance gain which comes through training. For that reason, as well as the risk of side-effects, it's worth weighing up carefully whether the benefits of the vitamin I approach outweigh the costs.

(My postgrad qualification is in sedation and pain management.)
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016 + Thames Path) (2017)
Ingles - (2017)
#56
I have an allergy to oral NSAIDs - will a topical NSAID cause a skin reaction? Will confirm with my doctor, but thought I'd put this out there in case others have the same problem.
I find that Arnica gel and homeopathic pellets work wonders on arthritic pains as well as on bumps and bruises. Can I assume Arnica is available in Spain? ...using that name?
Thanks!
Terry
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#57
Hi Terry,
Yes arnica is available in both farmacias and homeopathic stores. I've see it in creams of various types, including Traumeel which is available in Canada and probably the US , and also in tablet form.
Buen camino,
Cecelia
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#58
Here's a study on Arnica--had no effect, or made pain worse

Adkison JD, et al. The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain. Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Oct;44(10):1579-84.
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled 53 subjects. The goal of this study was to to determine whether topical Arnica montana cream could decrease subjective leg pain following calf raises. Each patient received two tubes of cream: one containing arnica and the other containing placebo. The creams were applied to the right or left calf (as directed by labels on the tubes) immediately after exercise, and again 24 and 48 hours post-exercise. Subjects used an analog scale to rate pain severity at baseline, and at 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercising. At 48 hours post-exercise, ankle range of motion and muscle tenderness were also measured. There were no significant differences in pain scores for the legs treated with the arnica or placebo creams at baseline. However, 24 hours post-exercise, pain scores for the arnica-treated legs were significantly higher than placebo (p<0.005). Pain scores for the arnica and placebo creams were not significantly different at 48 and 72 hours post-exercise. No significant differences in ankle range of motion or muscle tenderness were detected for the two treatments.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016 + Thames Path) (2017)
Ingles - (2017)
#59
Thank you Cecelia. Knowing this I won't have to tote my own tubes!

Thanks for the information Newfy! I notice the header on the article says "The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain." It also mentioned that this study used topical cream. My pain is as a result of arthritis -- bone against bone in my feet. So it would be interesting to see the results of a study directly related to arthritis. Also, I noticed that 53 people were studied. Personally, I might prefer to see a greater number of subjects studied -- but that's just me... I know about the placebo effect, and maybe that's what's working for me when I take oral Arnica Montana. Whatever -- it works for me and cannot hurt me, and I'm ever so grateful for that! It makes it possible for me to walk longer distances - and it might just help me to walk the Camino.
Terry
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#60
NSAID's work on inflammation, not pain. If you have a sore muscle, take Percocet! Ibuprofen works for arthritis because it is an inflammation. The creams never worked for me. The dosage absorbed was never enough to reach the arthritis in my ankles. The pills do work, and weigh less than the cream.
 
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