Learn about NSAIDS


Examples of NSAIDs (non-prescription):

Generic Name              Brand Name

ibuprofen                           Advil, Motrin

naproxen sodium                Aleve

aspirin                                Bayer, Bufferin

Examples of NSAIDs available by prescription:

Generic Name                     Brand Name

celecoxib                                     Celebrex

ibuprofen                                     Motrin

ketoprofen                                   Orudis,  Actron

naproxen sodium                        Anaprox

piroxicam                                     Feldene

sulindac                                        Clinoril

NSAID is an acronym for non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. They act to suppress a class of chemicals called prostaglandins. Certain prostaglandins produce inflammation, pain and fever (some prostaglandins actually work to suppress inflammation). Prostaglandins are produced through the action of an enzyme, called cyclooxygenase (also called COX). There are two COX enzymes, appropriately named COX-1 and COX-2. NSAIDs work by suppressing either the COX-1 enzyme or the COX-2 enzyme.

The prostaglandins produced by the COX-1 enzymes promote platelet (clotting) function and protecting the stomach. These drugs include the common pain relief drugs that people are familiar with, like ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Because of the inhibition of the COX-1 enzymes, these drugs tend to irritated the GI lining.

NSAIDs that work on the COX-2 enzymes do not irritate the GI lining. Vioxx, one such drug, was taken off of the market because it caused cardiac problems. Some have questioned whether or not other COX-2 inhibitors may have the same problem.

The most common side effects of NSAIDs include, ulcers, stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea and heartburn. Other side effects can include swelling in the lower extremity, confusion or allergic reaction. Overuse has been linked to kidney problems. Giving a child aspirin (which is also an NSAID) to lower a fever has been linked to Reye’s syndrome.

Pain medication can cause a number of problems. Something as simple as diet can help to bring pain under control. Click here to download a FREE report.