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All about NSAIDS

This is the first in a series of Oxford Valley Pain & Spine Center blog posts taking a look at common pain medications. Please understand, the material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.

While low-dose aspirin’s use has increased in recent years to ward off strokes, heart disease and colorectal cancer, gone are the days when your family doctor would tell you to take two aspirin and call him in the morning.

Today, it’s more likely your doctor will suggest another over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, which works like aspirin but has fewer gastrointestinal side effects. Ibuprofen is sold under the name of Motrin, Advil, and Nuprin and is also available in a prescription-strength counterpart.

Often used for the treatment of headaches, backaches, arthritis, sports injuries, mild to moderate pain and fever, you may also have heard ibuprofen referred to as an NSAID – a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Inflammation is generally present with the irritation of a muscle, joint or tissue and the accompanying pain. NSAIDs including ibuprofen are a good option for minor to moderate pain. They’re readily available and are tolerated well if proper dosing instructions are followed.

Common side-effects are gastrointestinal in nature including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Ibuprofen should be taken with food or directly after a meal to prevent stomach upset. More serious side-effects can also result including kidney failure, liver failure, ulcers and prolonged bleeding after an injury or surgery.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking as ibuprofen can interact with other drugs including lithium, blood pressure-reducing medications and blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), resulting in additional, more serious side effects. Be aware that many cold, allergy, and flu preparations also include the drug.

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.

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