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Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs reduce inflammation and relieve fever and pain by blocking certain enzymes and proteins made by the body. They also reduce swelling and inflammation caused by an injury or a disease such as gout. Aspirin should not be taken for gout. It can make gout worse by raising the uric acid level in the blood. NSAIDs can help relieve the pain of kidney stones that are often common with gout suffers.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs block chemicals called prostaglandins, which cause inflammation, by blocking prostaglandins decreases inflammation in the body. However, prostaglandins also preserve the lining of the stomach, so blocking prostaglandins will cause stomach pain. If NSAIDs are taken regularly, a doctor may recommend to also taking a medicine such as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). These medicines can assist protecting the stomach lining.

The most common side effects of NSAIDs are stomach pain, heartburn, ulcers, and skin rashes. Taking NSAIDs with food may help prevent some of these problems. Less common side effects include confusion, swelling of the face, feet, or calves, and a decrease in the amount of urine. These side effects are more likely to occur in older adults and people with other serious health problems.

People with ulcers or any stomach problems, anemia, internal bleeding, easy bruising, alcohol drinking, high blood pressure, kidney, liver, or heart disease, may develop more problems when taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors weight the benefits and risk before prescribing any NSAIDs.

The prescribing doctor will consider any gastrointestinal problems or cardiovascular problems and other medicines a patient takes especially blood thinners, mental health drugs, water pills, arthritis medication, and diabetes medications before prescribing any type of NSAIDs. NSAIDs are not recommended to use during pregnancy.

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