Pain Meds- NSAIDS
Use of Pain Medications, NSAIDS
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, usually abbreviated to NSAIDs, are drugs with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects - they reduce pain, fever and inflammation. The NSAIDs work by affecting some chemicals in the body which cause inflammation, the prostaglandins. The term "non-steroidal" is used to distinguish these drugs from steroids, which have a similar eicosanoid-depressing, anti-inflammatory action. NSAIDS are unusual in that they are non-narcotic. The most prominent members of this group of drugs are aspirin and ibuprofen. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) has negligible anti-inflammatory activity, and is strictly speaking not an NSAID.
Beginning in 1829, with the isolation of salicylic acid from the folk remedy willow bark, NSAIDs have become an important part of the pharmaceutical treatment of pain and inflammation. Part of the popularity of NSAIDs is that, unlike opioids, they do not produce sedation or respiratory depression and have a very low addiction rate. Certain NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and aspirin, have become accepted as relatively safe and are available over-the-counter without prescription. Recent information about pharmaceutical and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication used to treat arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders has caused some concern in the medical community regarding patient use.
NSAIDs are usually indicated for the treatment of acute or chronic conditions where pain and inflammation are present.
NSAIDs are generally indicated for the symptomatic relief of the following conditions:
Inflammatory arthropathies (e.g. ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome)
Metastatic bone pain
Headache and migraine
Mild-to-moderate pain due to inflammation and tissue injury
The use of medication involves a risk/benefit ratio and should be assessed by physicians in conjunction with their patient and in light of their patient's specific condition. Doctor Biehl monitors new research and developments in these therapies because new information continues to develop rapidly. Because NSAID use has been associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, Dr. Biehl may want to consider therapies that provide protection for the stomach, in addition to those that provide for pain relief. Physical therapy, exercise, and acupuncture are conservative treatments that may also provide pain relief for some patients.