Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) are used to treat minor aches and pains, the common cold, headaches, muscle aches, backache, and arthritis. They may also be used to reduce fever.

They include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, Nuprin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren, Arthrotec, Cataflam)
  • Nabumetone (Relafen)
  • Etodolac (Lodine)
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro)

Tylenol relieves pain but does not decrease inflammation. Always follow the directions printed on the container or provided by your doctor for anti-inflammatory medications.

Take these medications with food, or immediately after you eat, so the food will act as a protectant for your stomach. This keeps the tablet or capsule from resting directly on your stomach lining.

Be sure to take the medications with a full glass of water. Store these medications at room temperature, away from heat and light. If you miss a dose of these medications, NEVER take a double dose to compensate.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may cause stomach ulcers or cause liver or kidney problems. You should have routine laboratory studies done while on them. If these are not being ordered by your doctor, you should ask about them.

Some of these medications may cause drowsiness. They may decrease your ability to drive alertly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication prescribed for you will cause drowsiness. Using these medications with alcohol may decrease your ability to drive safely. Do not take these medications if you are allergic to aspirin. If you experience any side effects that continue or are bothersome, notify your doctor.


  • Swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness

Do not take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, unless prescribed by your doctor, if you are taking Coumadin (warfarin), Heparin, Lovenox, Ticlid, or Plavix. If you are pregnant, check with your doctor before using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your doctor or pharmacist.