What are NSAIDs?

    NSAID are a class of medications that work to decrease inflammation, pain and fever. Traditional NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and many other generic and brand name drugs. A newer addition to the NSAID group is celecoxib (Celebrex) which is a COX 2 Selective NSAID. The NSAIDs work by a different mechanism than steroid medications to decrease inflammation and pain.


    What is the difference between traditional NSAIDs and celecoxib?

    Celecoxib is a COX-2 selective NSAID, which also works to decrease pain and inflammation, but it is not more effective than traditional NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen. COX-2 selective NSAIDs are somewhat less likely to cause stomach problems, like ulcers and bleeding than traditional NSAIDs, but have the same risk of side effects like high blood pressure, kidney problems, and fluid retention. In addition, celecoxib, like several other NSAIDs, has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks, in some large clinical trials.


    What is the purpose of taking these types of medications?

    NSAIDs are taken to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and fever. For temporary conditions such as sprains, strains, and flares of back pain, for example, over-the-counter NSAIDs may be sufficient. For chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or lupus, these drugs are generally administered by a doctor in higher prescription doses and may be prescribed over a long period of time.


    Are these drugs safe?

    Risks of all NSAIDs include, but are not limited to, stomach problems like bleeding and ulcer, high blood pressure, fluid retention, heart and kidney problems, and rashes.


    Is there one NSAID that is safer than the others?

    There is no clear difference in the overall safety profile of the various traditional NSAIDs on the market, although the side effects of individual drugs may vary. In some studies, naproxen appears safer on the cardiovascular system. Celecoxib is associated with slightly fewer stomach problems than traditional NSAIDs, but it has been reported to be associated with a possible increased risk of heart problems, especially at doses above 200 mg per day.




    Who should NOT take NSAIDs?

    • Patients who have asthma which is made worse when taking Aspirin.
    • Patients who have had a recent ulcer in the stomach or small bowel.
    • Patients who have kidney or liver disease should use with caution.
    • Patients who have significant congestive heart failure.
    • Patients who have had a recent heart attack or stroke or experienced serious chest pain related to heart disease should AVOID NSAIDs &COXIBs.


    Do I need to have regular blood tests while taking NSAIDs?

    NO, you do not need to have regular blood tests while taking NSAIDs.


    Are NSAIDs safe in Pregnancy?

    Some NSAIDs may be used safely to treat your arthritis in the first and second trimesters. In general, NSAIDs should not be used in the third trimester.



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