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What is an NSAID?

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is a type of medicine used to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and bring down a fever.

This medication comes in various forms, including capsules, tablets, creams, suppositories, gels, and injections. Some forms are available over-the-counter, whereas others can only be attained with a prescription.

Some of the common types of NSAIDs include:

  • naproxen
  • ibuprofen
  • celecoxib
  • diclofenac
  • indomethacin
  • mefenamic acid
  • etoricoxib

NSAIDs may be sold or prescribed under these generic versions or a brand name.

How do NSAIDs improve healthcare?

NSAIDs are often used for the relief of symptoms from:

  • painful periods
  • headaches
  • flu and cold
  • arthritis
  • muscle aches
  • bursitis
  • dental pain

NSAIDs work by preventing the body from producing chemicals that cause inflammation. They work similarly to corticosteroids but with fewer side effects.

NSAIDs are useful because they can help relieve common, unpleasant symptoms and are readily available in most stores.

Certain people should check with a doctor before taking an NSAID, including those who are/have:

  • over 65 years old
  • pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding
  • previous allergic reactions to NSAIDs
  • asthma
  • problems with the heart, kidneys, liver, circulation, blood pressure, or bowels
  • previous stomach ulcers