NSAIDs: What They Are and How They Work


What Are NSAIDs & How Do They Work?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of medications commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation. Most commonly prescribed to treat conditions such as arthritis or acute gout, these drugs work by blocking the action of certain enzymes in the body. This in turn reduces the production of inflammatory hormones, resulting in a decrease in the painful symptoms associated with these and other conditions.

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Common Types of NSAIDs and Their Uses

The most commonly prescribed NSAIDs are non-selective non-steroid drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These are usually prescribed for mild to moderate pain and inflammation associated with a number of health conditions, including arthritis, migraine headaches and menstrual cramps.

Certain NSAIDs such as aspirin and celecoxib are more selective and better suited to treating certain health conditions, such as heart disease and inflammatory conditions. Cluecoxib is sometimes used to treat the pain associated with inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Possible Side Effects of NSAIDS

Like any medication, there are certain side effects that should be taken into consideration before taking NSAIDs. The most common side effects include upset stomach, drowsiness, and increased blood pressure. NSAIDs can also cause kidney damage if not taken correctly. It is important to speak to your doctor about the risks associated with taking NSAIDs before taking them.

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Benefits of Taking NSAIDs

In addition to relieving pain and inflammation, NSAIDs have been shown to have other potential benefits. For example, they may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease. NSAIDs have also been associated with a reduced risk of certain types of eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.

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NSAIDs and Overall Health

Although NSAIDs are effective for treating certain conditions, these medications should only be used as advised by a doctor. In addition to the potential side effects, there are other considerations with using NSAIDs. Taking them for long periods of time or in high doses can increase the risk of adverse events.

For this reason, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a doctor before taking NSAIDs. With the proper advice and monitoring, taking these medications can be a safe and effective way to manage certain conditions.