NSAIDs for Pain


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medicines that can relieve mild pain, and reduce inflammation and fever. Some NSAIDs can relieve bone pain in patients suffering from bone cancers. This article gives useful information about using NSAIDs for pain.

Types of NSAIDs

These are available in numerous types ranging between 20 to 30 products. But, their efficacy in treating pain cannot be differentiated. Read on to learn more about some common NSAIDs used for pain relief.


Aspirin is often used for pain management in combination with opioid analgesics. But, aspirin is mostly not used for palliative care (treatment that aims to reduce the symptoms of a condition rather than cure it). This is because there is a risk of bleeding and stomach upset. Patients suffer from chronic ailments that carry a higher risk of stroke or heart attack are usually advised to take an 81mg small aspirin every day.

Naproxen and Ibuprofen
Both are OTC products. They are compatible with prescription opioid medicines. Ibuprofen is also sold as a liquid medicine, while naproxen is sold only as a pill. Naproxen is usually recommended in a dose of 250-500mg, twice each day. The recommended Ibuprofen dose is 200-400mg once every 5 hours. Stronger Ibruprofen tablets can only be bought on prescription. You should not take this medicine for greater than 10 days without consulting a physician.

Side Effects of Naproxen and Ibuprofen

Heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, rash and ringing in the ears are some side effects. Both Naproxen and Ibuprofen can raise the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding. If you need to use NSAIDs for a prolonged time, your physician may ask you to take medications that can protect your stomach.

COX-2 Inhibitors

This is a new class of NSAIDs. Their advantage is that there is a reduced risk of bleeding and stomach ulcers. But, they cannot be bought over the counter. Certain COX-2 inhibitors such as celcoxib (Celebrex) can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. This risk rises with the duration of use. Therefore, you should consult with your physician about whether the risk is worth it based on your needs.

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