Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) -1

Introduction
NSAIDs are medications which, as well as having pain-relieving (analgesic) effects, have the effect of reducing inflammation swelling, stiffness, and joint pain when used over a period of time.

Uses:
Osteoarthritis:
Osteoarthritis is a very common condition, affecting the joints, often described as "wear and tear" arthritis. This can start from our teens and gets worse as we grow older), but NSAIDs are particularly useful in the inflammatory forms of arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) and, sometimes, in the more severe forms of osteoarthritis.

Back pain:
Low back pain is pain affecting the lower part of the back.
It is described as:

  • Acute if it has lasted less than 6 weeks.
  • Sub-acute if it has lasted 6-12 weeks.
  • Chronic if it has lasted more than 12 weeks.

Sciatica:
Sciatica is the term given to pain down the leg, which is caused by irritation of the main nerve into the leg, the sciatic nerve. This pain tends to be caused where the nerves pass through and emerge from the lower bones of the spine (lumbar vertebrae). Much of the advice regarding this condition is the same as that for low back pain
Ibuprofen has been clearly demonstrated to be helpful, and the other NSAIDs are also helpful.

Sprains, strains:
Sprains, strains  are a description of what happens to the muscles, and other non-bony structures connected to our bones, when they are put under excessive pressure or strain. The result is swelling, pain, bruising and loss or impairment of function of the affected area.

Rheumatism.
Pain from kidney stones (renal colic).
Dental pain.
Post-operative pain.
Period pain (dysmenorrheal)

Heavy periods (menorrhagia):
Heavy periods (menorrhagia) affect many women. However it is difficult to be sure what people mean by heavy periods. Heaviness of periods is very subjective. As with many other bodily functions, that which is considered perfectly normal by some, might be thought extremely abnormal by others.

Fever:
Every person's temperature varies slightly, but the average "normal" temperature for humans is 37°C (98.6°F). Various things influence body temperature, for example activity, metabolic rate, environmental temperature, and infection.
Infection will cause an elevated temperature which is sometimes the only outside evidence of an infection, but other times is associated with obvious symptoms to suggest the cause. There is evidence that the body deals better with infection as a result of creating an elevated temperature. At the same time the body's immune system comes into action with special proteins being produced and mobilization of white blood cells.
The raised temperature may be associated with shivering and hot sweats in turn. Shivering is the body's way of elevating the temperature and is brought about by the temperature regulating centre in the brain (the hypothalamus). Sweating performs the reverse function, once again regulated by the hypothalamus. When you have a fever it is as though the body has temporarily reset its thermostat.
Fever is also associated with headache, other bodily aches and pains, rapid breathing and rapid heart rate. In the presence of such symptoms people often prefer to take some treatment to alleviate them, but if the fever is only mild (e.g. only one degree above normal), and the symptoms not too severe, there is no need to take medication just to return the temperature to normal.

If the fever becomes very high (e.g. 39°C or 102.2°F plus) you should contact your doctor. Such high temperatures will sometimes bring with them clouded consciousness and hallucinations. In some children below the age of five, fever may lead to convulsions which are known as
Febrile convulsions.'Febrile convulsions occur in young children when there is a rapid increase in their body temperature. It affects up to 1 in 20 children between the ages of one and four but can affect children between six months and about five years old.'

Migraine:
Migraine is a form of headache which is severe and usually one sided, frequently associated with nausea and vomiting.
This is sometimes preceded by warning symptoms which usually affect the eyesight and are known as an "aura".

Properties:
NSAIDs work by affecting some chemicals in the body which cause inflammation"Prostaglandins". Unfortunately the same group of chemicals are involved in the stomach, and so the NSAIDs tend to cause indigestion, and may even cause duodenal or stomach ulceration.

As a result of this side-effect they cannot be used in someone with a history of
peptic ulcer'Peptic ulcer (PUD or peptic ulcer disease) is an ulcer (defined as mucosal erosions equal to or greater than 0.5 cm) of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful.')
, except in exceptional circumstances, under close medical supervision.
Also they would rarely be used and, if used, only with extra care, in somebody with
Heartburn'Heartburn or Pyrosis is a painful or burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid'
 or indigestion.
In general, the more effective a NSAIDs is at reducing inflammation, the more likely it is to cause indigestion. Sometimes your doctor will prescribe them along with something to cut down the risk of ulceration . There is even one medication that contains both components together.
There have been recent advances, in that some NSAIDs are said to be more specific in dealing with inflammation and less likely to irritate the digestive (gastro-intestinal) system, but nothing has yet overcome this problem altogether.
The drugs vary in strength and side effects. Usually, as with other medications, the more effective they are, the more side-effects they are likely to have.

Apirin(acetylsalicylic acid)
Is an anti-inflammatory pain killer (NSAIDs), which is extensively used, worldwide, for pain relief, to reduce inflammation and temperatures, and to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. which originated from willow bark, has been around for a long time and is in many people's medicine chests. This is an anti-inflammatory analgesic.
Any non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can cause side effects, especially when it is used for a long time or in large doses. Some of the side effects are painful or uncomfortable. Others can be more serious, resulting in the need for medical care and sometimes even death. If you will be taking this medicine for more than one or two months or in large amounts, you should discuss with your doctor the good that it can do as well as the risks of taking it. Also, it is a good idea to ask your doctor about other forms of treatment that might help to reduce the amount of this medicine that you take and/or the length of treatment.

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