NSAIDs: Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of drugs that are used to relieve pain, reduce fevers and provide anti-inflammatory effects for swelling and redness. They are commonly used to treat headaches, muscle soreness, back pain, cramps, joint pain or aches from a cold. They are sold over the counter and may be prescribed at higher doses. The most common NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin) and naproxen sodium (such as Aleve). If you take NSAIDs, here are some questions you may want to discuss with your health care professional. • What ailments can NSAIDs treat? • What are the differences among the various NSAIDs? • Is one type better for treating certain types of pain than another? • What dosage do you recommend for me? • What are the most common side effects of NSAIDS? • What should I do if my pain gets worse or I notice side effects? • How long can I safely take this NSAID? • Is it safe to combine this NSAID with another pain reliever, such as another NSAID or acetaminophen? • Can NSAIDs affect other medications that I'm taking? • Is it safe to give NSAIDs to my children? • Is it safe to take NSAIDs during pregnancy or while breastfeeding? • Is it safe to drink moderately while taking NSAIDs?
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