Author: James Anderson

What Is an NSAID? Drug List, Uses, Warnings, & Side Effects

what is nsaids drugs

As a consequence, ongoing inflammation, pain, and fever are reduced. Since the prostaglandins that protect the stomach and support platelets and blood clotting also are reduced, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the stomach and promote bleeding. NSAIDs may be grouped according to their preference for COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. Those that favor COX-1 are more likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects. Those that favor COX-2 have a higher risk of cardiovascular effects but less gastrointestinal effects. NSAIDs with higher activity against COX-2 enzymes should be used with caution in people with cardiovascular disease or at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

what is nsaids drugs

Occasionally, they may cause more serious damage to the kidneys. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (usually abbreviated to NSAIDs) are a group of medicines that relieve pain and fever and reduce inflammation. One of the best reasons to consider some of the COX-2 inhibitors, such as Celebrex or Mobic, is that these may be taken as once-a-day doses rather than three or four times daily. In addition, the COX-2 inhibitors are thought to have fewer side effects on the stomach. The term “anti-inflammatory” refers to the ability of a medicine to help fight pain and unwanted or abnormal immune system reactions by reducing inflammation.

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For example, a 70-year-old carries a much higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding or heart attack from an NSAID compared to a 40-year-old. The drugs in this group have some differences in their chemical structure but share a lot of similarities. They tend to block both versions of the COX enzyme, although some block comparatively more COX1 or COX2. They aren’t used for preventing blood clots the way aspirin sometimes is. People have been using NSAIDs in the aspirin group for over a hundred years.

A COX-2 inhibitor type NSAID drug might make sense for people who have stomach ulcers or who have had bleeding from somewhere in their digestive tract. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are non-opioid analgesic medications that people primarily use to treat mild symptoms of pain throughout the body. People who take NSAIDs for a long time or at high dosages should consult their doctor about ulcer prevention. One option is to take separate drugs that reduce acid production in the stomach. When your back aches, your head hurts, arthritis acts up or you’re feeling feverish, an NSAID can give you the quick relief you need. But it’s not a good idea to take them if you have certain health conditions.

what is nsaids drugs

Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 17 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Mar 2024) and others. NSAIDs are available in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription formulations. Much of the difference among NSAID drugs lies in how they target the two forms of the cyclooxygenase enzyme, called COX-1 and COX-2. Aspirin’s effect on bleeding is also longer lasting compared to NSAIDs like Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen). Aspirin still increases your bleeding risk even several days after you’ve taken it.

Pain relief from NSAIDs tends to occur fairly quickly (i.e., within an hour or so). However, for chronic conditions, you might need to take it for several days before you see the full effects. Many different NSAIDs are available over the counter (OTC), sometimes paired with other types of drugs.

If your provider clears you to take NSAIDs for a long period of time, you should keep an eye out for harmful side effects like stomach pain or heartburn. If you develop side effects, your provider can recommend an alternative treatment. If you don’t need 24-hour relief, avoid one-dose-a-day NSAIDs, especially if you are over 60 years old. These medications stay in your body longer and may cause more side effects. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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However, experts now believe that the health risks of taking this drug every day outweigh the benefits, so they no longer advise daily aspirin for most people. Some NSAIDs, particularly diclofenac and those that are selective for COX-2 enzymes, have a high risk of cardiovascular thrombotic events such as a heart attack or stroke. Other heart-related side effects such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and palpitations have also been reported. Reduce or stop using alcohol (which can irritate your stomach) while taking NSAIDs.

  1. They also don’t carry the risks of dependency like some other medications used to treat pain, such as opioids like Vicodin (hydrocodone).
  2. There are many different types of NSAIDs, including nonprescription and prescription strength.
  3. The body, therefore, produces more of these substances when an injury occurs.
  4. For example, an NSAID might be paired with a decongestant as part of the same product.

In the body, salicin is turned into salicylic acid, which produces the antipyretic and analgesic effects that the plants are known for. Gastrointestinal side effects that may occur include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, irritation of the lining of the stomach, nausea or vomiting. Celebrex remains the only prescription option in the United States for people seeking a selective COX-2 inhibitor. This article discusses the pros and cons of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. The more an NSAID blocks COX-1, the greater is its tendency to cause ulcers and promote bleeding. Lower doses may be enough for osteoarthritis and muscle injuries, as there is generally less swelling and often no warmth or redness in the joints. If you have lasting or unusual pain in your stomach after starting an anti-inflammatory medication, tell your doctor right away. But you and your doctor can lower your risk of having side effects from NSAIDs. If your side effects are interfering with daily activities or last more than a few days, stop taking the NSAID and call your doctor.

List of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

The risk of heart attack and stroke may be higher for a person who takes NSAIDs, unless they take aspirin. However, this is usually more of a concern for people who have other risk factors for heart problems. This class of drugs includes some of the most common pain relief drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

They also come with some side effects, especially for people who have underlying risk factors, such as stomach ulcers or high blood pressure. NSAIDs are a commonly used class of medications that can decrease pain, inflammation, and fever. They include aspirin, Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), Voltaren (diclofenac), Celebrex (celecoxib), and other drugs, many of which are available without a prescription. NSAIDs can increase your risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. The risk increases the higher the dosage and the longer the length of time you remain on an NSAID for.

Like other NSAIDs, they can be used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. Many people take NSAIDs to treat the symptoms of the common cold. However, although these drugs relieve some of the symptoms, such as fever and pain, they neither kill the virus nor improve the course of the illness. In the case of aspirin, this property may help prevent the blocked arteries that can cause heart attack or stroke. NSAIDs also block an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), which supports the reactions that produce prostaglandins. To reduce your risk of ulcers, always take NSAIDs with food (preferably, a full meal).