Also known as: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, nabumetone

What are NSAIDs?

NSAIDs, short for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, refers to a class of medications that reduce inflammation, pain and fever. They are commonly available over the counter and are some of the most common medications available, although stronger forms of NSAIDs are available with a prescription. The most common NSAIDs that many people are familiar with are ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. Acetaminophen is not a NSAID but has similar properties.

What happens during the treatment?

NSAIDs are generally considered safe and should be taken according to the instructions on the medication label or your health care provider’s recommendations. In general, patients should not take a NSAID for more than three consecutive days for fever or 10 consecutive days for pain, but a health care provider may provide different instructions in some situations.

Is any special preparation needed?

NSAIDs may pose some risks for people who are older, are on blood thinners or certain other medications, drink heavily or have a history of bleeding problems or stomach ulcers. Make sure that your health care provider is aware of any health problems before you start taking NSAIDs.

What are the risk factors?

NSAIDs are generally considered safe when taken as prescribed. The most common side effects are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, gas, feeling bloated, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, balance problems, trouble concentrating and lightheadedness.

Reviewed by: Avi C. Baitner, MD

This page was last updated on: May 12, 2023 03:40 PM

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