Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, are medications used to relieve pain, lower fever and reduce swelling. These are non-opioid analgesics. Some NSAIDs are prescription and some are over-the-counter. Common examples include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and celecoxib.
Some of the risks of NSAIDs include:
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Allergic reactions, especially for people with asthma
Some of the benefits of NSAIDs include:
- Reducing fever
- Decreasing inflammation
- Relieving pain
NSAIDs may be used to ease the above symptoms (when minor and short-term) related to headaches, joint or bone injury, arthritis, back pain, muscle or joint discomfort, dental pain, colds and flu.
It is important to discuss the use of NSAIDs with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if it is the proper course of treatment for you, and if it is then how often and for how long you should take it.