NSAIDs are a large group of drugs that have pain-relieving (analgesic) and fever reducing (antipyretic) effects, as well as the effect of reducing inflammation when used over time. The anti-inflammatory effects may take anywhere from a few days to three weeks to take effect. Non-selective (traditional) NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, aspirin, Nabumetone and Naproxen work by inhibiting both the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes to stop the production of prostaglandins, while COX-2 inhibitors only block the COX-2 enzyme. Common uses for NSAIDs are:
NSAIDs come in different formulas and in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription strengths. Some may work better for you than others. Your physician can help you find the dose and medication that works best for you. Tell your physician if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, asthma, or a history of kidney or liver disease, or have had ulcers in the past. People over age 65 must be especially careful when taking NSAIDs. Also tell your doctor about other medications you are taking. NSAIDs may intensify or counteract the effects of some medications. Both the risk and the severity of side effects increase the longer you take NSAIDs.
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