Author: Don Stader, MD
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective pain relievers but come with important side effects
- NSAIDs inhibit COX-1 and/or COX-2, which decreases the production of prostaglandins, which reduce pain and inflammation
- Side effects of NSAIDS include increased rates myocardial infarction, stroke, and gastrointestinal bleeding, CVA
- Effective pain reliever doses of many NSAIDs are lower than typically prescribed (i.e. ibuprofen 400 mg is as effective as 800 mg but with less risk of side effects)
- Topical NSAIDs can be an alternative to reduce systemic effects
- Selective Cox-2 inhibitors have less GI side effects
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Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD