I am sure you were often told to take ibuprofen or another ‘NSAID’ – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory class of drugs rather narcotics for minor pains and swelling.  NSAIDs are very widely used to manage pain especially that associated with inflammatory conditions.This class of medication actually can ‘cure’  what is causing your pain, by going to the source – reducing inflammation while taking  narcotics only fools the brain into thinking pain is gone but your problem is really not improved.

It is well-known that taking aspirin can cause stomach problems (termed ‘GI complications’) and possibly bleeding ulcers but so do NSAIDs.

Common NSAIDs – OTC & Rxquiz11-14Q3

®                         Generic

Advil, Motrin ibuprofen
Aleve naproxen sodium
Ascriptin, Bayer, Ecotrin aspirin
Voltaren, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Cambia diclofenac

A newer generation of NSAID was engineered – coxibs –  without as much GI side effects, BUT the trade off was an increase in heart attacks risk and death. They are prescription celecoxib (Celebrex®), rofecoxib (Vioxx®), etoricoxib (Arcoxia®), and lumiracoxib (Prexige®).

Recent analysis of many studies showed that taking high doses of some commonly used NSAIDs increased the risk of major vascular events for the users. This included non-fatal MI (heart attack), non-fatal stroke, or vascular death, death, and GI bleeding. Heart failure risk was roughly doubled in all who used NSAIDs. Researchers showed that the likelihood of such events increase by a third. The good news is that the degree of vascular complication from using NSAIDs can be educatedly guessed by the treating provider.

This analysis appeared in British publication “The Lancet” one of the best-known and oldest (1823) medical journals in the world.*

CAVEAT: Less is more when it comes to drugs – remember you are putting chemicals into your body.

FYI: Well known is that in children and teens taking NSAID can cause kidney damage.


*’Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists’ (CNT) Collaboration “Vascular and upper gastrointestinal effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: meta-analyses of individual participant data from randomized trialsThe Lancet 2013.