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Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce fever and inflammation and relieve pain. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions.

Ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil)

Naproxen (such as Aleve)

Side effects

The most common side effects of NSAIDs are stomach upset, heartburn, and nausea. If the medicine upsets your stomach, you can try taking it with food. But if that doesn't help, talk with your doctor to make sure it's not a more serious problem.

Reasons to stop taking NSAIDs

NSAIDs may delay healing. If you develop any of the following signs of infection, stop taking the medication:

NSAID risks

Talk to your doctor about whether NSAIDs are right for you. People who are older than 65 or who have existing heart, stomach, kidney, liver, or intestinal disease are at higher risk for problems. For other people, the benefits may outweigh the risks.

Do not take NSAIDs if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of pain medicine.

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, don't use NSAIDs unless your doctor says it's okay. They can cause problems with the baby or the delivery.

Talk to your doctor before taking NSAIDs if you have:

Talk to your doctor before using NSAIDs if you take:

Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome, a rare but serious disease.


Credits for Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Current as of: August 4, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger MD


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