What are NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs)

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory Drugs or popularly known as NSAIDs are the most preferred medications recommended to treat inflammatory and painful conditions like arthritis and other pain disorders. Aspirin and ibuprofen are one of the most common NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs which an individual can get even over the counter. NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs not only provide pain relief but also helps in reducing inflammation and decrease fevers.

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NSAIDS are also quite effective in reducing the clotting action of the body and hence are quite effective in cardiac conditions. NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs may help with the pain but they come at a risk such as they promote easy bruising, stomach problems, or in some cases lead to ulcer formation. In some cases, kidney function also gets affected due to chronic use of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs.

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What are NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs)

What is the Mechanism of Action of NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs)?

The working mechanism of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs is they prevent an enzyme called cyclooxygenase or COX from performing its function. This enzyme has two forms which are COX-I and COX-II. The COX-I enzyme protects the lining of the stomach from acids and other digestive chemicals and also maintains normal functioning of the kidneys. COX-II enzymes are produced as a result of an injury or inflammation of the joints.

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NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs block the actions of these two enzymes which tend to cause an upset stomach and bleeding as well as provide pain relief. NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs come in different dosages and formulas. Some type of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs may work better than others but the mechanism of their action remains the same.

The usual method of taking NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs is with food or milk. While on NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs, it is recommended to avoid alcohol to prevent any reaction.

Medical Conditions Treated By NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs)

The most common medical conditions that can be treated with use of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs are arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. Due to their easy availability and low cost they are the most preferred medication prescribed for pain relief and reduction of inflammation. Certain cardiac patients may also be prescribed low doses of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs like aspirin.

Another form of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs is the COX-2 inhibitors. They perform the same function but are cost prohibitive and are generally prescribed on a long term basis for conditions like arthritis as they tend to be safe for the stomach unlike conventional NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs. Studies suggest that short term use of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs like after a fracture or an orthopedic surgery is generally safe.

When Should Nsaids (Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs) Be Avoided?

NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs need to be avoided if an individual is:

  • Pregnant
  • Has hypertension
  • Has asthma
  • Has a history of kidney or liver disease
  • History of ulcers
  • People with compromised immune system, especially people above the age of 60

In summary, NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs are perhaps the most cost effective pain reliever and antiinflammatory which when used in short term is quite safe but the longer an individual uses this the longer are the chances of getting side effects due to NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 27, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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