Home Medication and medical testsAnti-inflammatories (NSAIDs): what they are, types and uses

(NSAIDs): what they are, types and uses

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a family of drugs that have anti-inflammatory (decrease inflammation), analgesic (relieve pain), and antipyretic (reduce fever) properties. Depending on the amount, the drug can act in a certain way; in low doses, it acts as an analgesic, and in higher doses, it acts as an anti-inflammatory. Usually, the time for the drug to take effect is short, especially if you want to relieve pain. In general, the consumption of NSAIDs does not present complications. However, it is necessary to consider the dose and the age group (age) to which it belongs.

At FastlyHealwe, tell you more about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: what they are, their types, and their uses.

Use and way of acting of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

NSAIDs are used to relieve pain and decrease signs of inflammation (swelling and redness). These medications can alleviate temporary conditions such as acute body pain (head or back, for example), sprains, strains, or menstruation, or as a treatment for chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. In addition, in small doses, they can act as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation, reducing the risk of suffering from heart attacks or strokes secondary to the formation of thrombi.

These types of drugs block the production of prostaglandins, molecules responsible for producing the symptoms of inflammation. They are synthesized during cell destruction that occurs during inflammation. Specifically, NSAIDs will inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.

Types and trade names of NSAIDs

NSAIDs can be classified, according to their chemical structure, into:

  • Salicylates: in which Aspirin, Clonixin, or Salicylamide is found.
  • Indole-acetic derivatives: in which is Glucamethacin or Sulindac (Clinoril).
  • Aryl-acetic derivatives: in which there is Aceclofenac, Diclofenac (Cataflam, Artrotec, Voltaren or Voltaren XR) or Etodolac (Lodine, Lodine XL).
  • Enolic acids, which in turn are divided into Mexicans, which include Piroxicam (Feldene), Oxaprozin (Daypro) or Meloxicam (Mobic); Pyrazolones, which have Phenylbutazone or Metamizole (Dipyrone)
  • Arylpropionic derivatives: in which are Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Motrin IB or Nuprin), Naproxen (Naprosyn, Naprelan), Ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail, Actron, Orudis KT) and Indoprofen.
  • Phenemates: in which meclofenamic acid, mefenamic acid (Ponstel), flufenamic acid, and tolfenamic acid are found.

Currently, there is a new category of NSAIDs called Coxibes, which has the particularity of inhibiting only Cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2); in this new group are Celecoxib (Celebrex), Rofecoxib, and Etoricoxib.

There are many forms of presentation of NSAIDs, including:

  • Liquid presentation.
  • Suppositories.
  • Protected tablets.
  • Special tablets.

Side effects of NSAIDs

NSAIDs can have some side effects, for example:

  • Problems in the digestive tract include stomach ulcers, gastritis or bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn (a burning sensation from the stomach that can go up the throat, which is a consequence of the reflux of stomach contents), abdominal distention or constipation.
  • Central nervous system symptoms such as vertigo, headache, or confusion.
  • Increase blood pressure.
  • Dermatological problems such as pruritus (itching) or hives (areas of inflammation accompanied by spots).
  • Edema.
  • Decrease kidney function
  • Heart problems include heart inflammation, vasodilation, leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, or prolonged prothrombin time.

The longer the Medication with these drugs lasts, the greater the risk of side effects, especially heart problems.

Contraindications of NSAIDs

The use of these drugs should be avoided in people who have any of the following conditions:

  • Failures in kidney or liver function.
  • People with bleeding, ulcers, or an upset stomach.
  • Low platelet levels.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.
  • Hypertension.
  • Conditions in the pulmonary tract, such as COPD.
  • If you have an allergic illness, such as asthma.
  • If you are pregnant
  • People over 65 or under 12 years old.
  • If you frequently drink alcohol.

Drug interactions of NSAIDs

It is necessary to inform the health professional about all the medications taken to avoid drug interactions. The drugs that interact with NSAIDs are mainly:

  • Aspirin.
  • Blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), or Heparin.
  • Corticosteroids like Prednisone.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): what they are, their types, and their uses, we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests.


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