Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

What is a Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drug?

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID is used to relieve some symptoms caused by arthritis, such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. There are many NSAIDS on the market, available by prescription or over the counter. Some common names are Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve®, Voltaren®, and Indocin®.

How do I take it?

This medicine should also be taken with food. Follow your doctor’s directions. Do not take more or less medicine than ordered. Do not lie down for 15 to 30 minutes after taking this medicine. This will help prevent irritation and possible swallowing problems.

What else should I know?

These medicines should be taken regularly in order to be most effective. When first beginning on NSAIDS, it may take 2 weeks or more to get the maximum benefit. Please tell you doctor if you are to have any type of surgery, including dental work. Sometimes these drugs may be stopped for a short time prior to surgery.

NSAIDS can cause irritation to the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine. Notify your doctor if you notice any black or bloody stools, chronic indigestion or heartburn, or vomiting of blood or “coffee ground” like material.

What about other medications?

When you are taking NSAIDS, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

NSAIDS can be taken with other medications – but should not be taken with other blood thinners such as heparin, or other anti-coagulants. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of these types of medicines.

Updated: April 25, 2012

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.