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NSAIDs are commonly used to treat painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. This article profiles the medicines and their side effects.


  • Aspirin - Solprin
  • Diclofenac - Voltaren
  • Ibuprofen - Brufen
  • Indomethacin - Indocid
  • Ketoprofen - Oruvail
  • Naproxen - Naprosyn, Synflex
  • Tenoxicam - Tilcoltil
  • Tiaprofenic - Surgam

USE: Anti-inflammatory

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit prostaglandin synthesis which is regarded as an important part of the pain and inflammatory process. They have a combined analgesic (pain relief) and anti-inflammatory effect which is particularly useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, migraine, surgery trauma, dental pain, and soft-tissue injuries.


  • Previous allergy to NSAIDs
  • Stomach ulcer history
  • Kidney impairment
  • Pregnancy (avoid in 3rd trimester)
  • Asthmatics
  • Increased risk of side effects in elderly (especially women)
  • Breastfeeding

Side effects:

Occasional: stomach upset, headache, dizziness.

Rarely: skin rash, gastric-bleeding, oedema, bronchospasm/worsening of asthma symptoms (5-10% of asthmatics).


Caution must be exercised with B-blockers, thiazide and loop diuretics, lithium, digoxin, warfarin, quinolone antibiotics and immunosuppressants.

Patient information:

  • Follow instructions on the label of this medicine.
  • Do not exceed the maximum dosage as directed by your doctor.
  • Food: Taken after food with a large glass of water
  • Alcohol: May prolong inflammation and swelling and increase risk of stomach bleeding
  • Avoid taking other NSAID over-the counter preparations (Nurofen, Cataflam, Disprin etc).
  • Contact your doctor or seek medical help if side effects are severe or ongoing.
  • Discuss any symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting with your doctor - the medication may need to be stopped.

See also:

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