Ep. 29: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): How Much Is Too Much?

Dr. Brian Cole and Steve Kashul discuss the positive and negative impacts of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

Injuries and chronic conditions both lead to pain; luckily there are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help. These medications are great for short-term relief, but they do have their limitations.

What are NSAID medications?

NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, are a type of medication that helps with inflammatory conditions like arthritis. They’re probably the most prescribed type of medication for mild to moderate pain. Aspirin and ibuprofen are two of the most common types of NSAID medications.


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These medications are great for alleviating pain, but also have other uses as well. For example, if you have a fever, they help to lower your temperature. NSAIDs also reduce inflammation in your body, and also reduce the ability of your blood to clot. This is sometimes a good thing, but not for everybody.

So how do these drugs work? NSAIDs help with pain and inflammation by inhibiting certain enzymes in your body. These enzymes are known as COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 helps protect your stomach lining and helps with kidney function, while COX-2 is an enzyme that appears after joint damage happens.

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