Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of medications commonly used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower fever. They work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that contribute to pain and inflammation in the body.
NSAIDs are available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) formulations and are commonly used to manage a variety of conditions, including arthritis, menstrual cramps, and headaches.
While NSAIDs can be effective in managing pain and inflammation, they can also carry risks, especially when used long-term or in high doses. Common side effects of NSAIDs include stomach upset, heartburn, and gastrointestinal bleeding. In rare cases, NSAIDs can also cause kidney damage, liver damage, or allergic reactions.
To minimize the risks associated with NSAID use, healthcare providers should carefully screen patients for a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney disease, or heart disease, and monitor patients closely for signs of adverse effects. Patients should also be instructed to take NSAIDs only as directed and to avoid taking them for extended periods of time without medical supervision.
Overall, NSAIDs can be a valuable tool in managing pain and inflammation when used appropriately and under close supervision. However, patients should be aware of the potential risks associated with NSAID use and should discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider.