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®, Indocin®, aspirin.
NSAIDS help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis but do not control or treat the disease. You will often be prescribed additional medication for treatment of your disease.
How do I take it?
This medicine should 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 about side effects?
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.
NSAIDS should not be taken with other blood thinners such as heparin or other anti-coagulants. Do not overlap more than one type of NSAID. For example, do not take Motrin and Aleve at the same time. This can increase the risk of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of these types of medicines.
What about other medications?
NSAIDS can be taken with most 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.
What else should I know?
These medicines are also used for acute pain such as headache or menstrual cramps. When using as treatment for arthritis symptoms, 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.