NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

NSAID is an acronym for “Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug.” These are medications that can decrease pain and inflammation and which have a long history of use in various kinds of arthritis and other painful conditions.

There are two enzymes (body chemicals) that these medications can block: COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 protects the stomach from ulcers, and COX-2 is a protein that, among other things, causes joint inflammation. COX-2 inhibitors are NSAIDs designed to focus on the blockage of the COX-2 enzyme. COX-2 inhibitor drugs are called “selective inhibitors” because they only block the COX-2 protein and not COX-1. 

Both selective and non-selective NSAIDs can help with pain and inflammation, but side-effects such as stomach upset or ankle swelling can be problems, and cardiovascular side-effects have been described.

see also Medication

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