NSAIDs stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors often prescribe these drugs for pain relief for people with aching joints or muscles. Some NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are available over the counter. Other types require prescriptions, such as celecoxib, mefenamic acid, diclofenac, and ketorolac.
There are different groups for NSAIDs, namely non-selective NSAIDs and COX-2 selective NSAIDs. Your doctor will determine which specific drug is right for you and how it will be administered—orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, or topically. This is usually determined based on your pathology and the type of pain you’re feeling.
That said, read on for more information on why NSAIDs are good for joint and muscle pain:
They Help Fight Pain And Inflammation
When one injures or sprains a muscle or joint, the damaged tissue produces prostaglandins that cause inflammation, fever, and pain. NSAIDs block the production of cyclooxygenase (COX), a particular enzyme used to make prostaglandins. By blocking its production, it stops your body from releasing prostaglandins, thus relieving fever, inflammation, and pain.
Your doctor may recommend different doses depending on your condition and its severity. For example, they may recommend high doses for rheumatoid arthritis because it’s associated with extreme pain, redness, stiffness, and joint swelling. Lower NSAID doses may work for mild muscle injuries since there’s less pain and inflammation.
Each drug metabolizes differently with its respective half-lives. Thus, the therapeutic ￼effects you￼ experience will vary based on the specific NSAID you’re taking. The pain-relieving effects of the drug may be quick, but it may take some time for inflammation to disappear entirely.
The good thing is that different types of NSAIDs are available for use. If you don’t experience relief, your doctor may either increase your dosage or switch you to a different drug. Also, the drugs have different action times, so depending on your choice, they may function for a few hours or longer. Generally, the pain-relieving effects of the drug may be quick, whereas the swelling in joints might take up more time. The good thing is that different types of NSAIDs are available for use. Therefore, your doctor may start you out on one and switch to another if you don’t get good relief.
They Can Be Combined With Acetaminophen For Acute Pain
You may be asking, ‘Can I take ibuprofen with Panadol?’ Your doctor may recommend this combination as they’re more effective for conditions like extreme musculoskeletal pain. It might also be an excellent alternative to high doses of ibuprofen in some patients.
Panadol, whose generic name is acetaminophen or paracetamol, is not an NSAID. Thus, taking it with ibuprofen either simultaneously or spaced apart is generally safe. However, you shouldn’t take these two drugs together without supervision from a doctor. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and the time you’ll take each. is not an NSAID, it’s safe to take with ibuprofen either simultaneously or spaced apart. Even so, healthcare professionals recommend taking the drugs together if you’re 16 and above. In addition, caution should apply to a few groups, like people with heart, liver, and kidney problems.
Generally, note that NSAIDs interact differently with other medicines, which may affect how they function in the body. Drug interactions may result in greater risks of severe side effects. Therefore, it’s vital to check with a doctor or pharmacist if taking NSAIDs alongside other medication is okay.
NSAIDs Have No Addictive Properties
Unlike many pain medications like opioids—which are highly addictive—NSAIDs can be used on and off for prolonged periods without developing physical dependence. The medicines don’t bind to opioid receptors in the brain and body but instead block prostaglandin production. It doesn’t create euphoria or withdrawal symptoms and is generally safe for joint and muscle pain.
However, just because NSAIDs have no addictive properties doesn’t mean you can’t develop a tolerance for them. It’s still best to work closely with a doctor and follow the prescription.
NSAID Offer Other Medical Advantages
NSAID medications come with more benefits other than alleviating pain and inflammation. For instance, they can be antipyretic, meaning they can lower body temperature during high fever. Aspirin also prevents the formation of blood clots and is used in treating pericarditis and rheumatic fever. NSAID medications come with more benefits other than alleviating pain and inflammation. For instance, they can be antipyretic, hence lower body temperature in case of high fever. Also, aspirin prevents the formation of blood clots which may cause heart complications. Therefore, taking low doses over the long term can help reduce the risks of heart attacks or strokes.
Specific Warnings When Using NSAIDs
While NSAIDs are good for joint and muscle pain, you should be aware of the following warnings:
- Non-aspirin NSAIDs may increase the risks of stroke or heart attack, especially for people with pre-existing heart conditions or risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
- NSAIDs can increase the likelihood of developing stomach problems like ulcers. Developing stomach ulcers while taking NSAIDs is likelier among those who take it at high doses and for prolonged periods.
- You may experience side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, vomiting, dizziness, and mild headaches. Multiple or long-term use may increase the chances of the above side effects.
- NSAIDs may result in possible allergic reactions like itching, rashes, palpitations, and flu-like symptoms.
Therefore, it’s vital to stop taking NSAIDs and consult your doctor if you experience prolonged symptoms after use. Additionally, it’d be best to check with your doctor before taking the drugs, especially if you have conditions such as asthma, hypertension, and problems with the liver, heart, or kidney.
The same applies to pregnant or breastfeeding women and children with viral infections. Most importantly, you shouldn’t use over-the-counter NSAIDs for longer than ten days without consulting a medical professional.
NSAIDs are vital for managing joint and muscle pain if prescribed under appropriate conditions. Some NSAIDs are also safe to take with other medications, such as acetaminophen. Additionally, their non-addictive properties make them a better option for those with addiction problems.
Even so, just like any drug, medicines have their risks and side effects. Therefore, to stay healthy while taking NSAIDs, ensure you talk to a physician before use so that they can recommend the appropriate drug and dosage. Stay healthy and fit, ensure you talk to a physician before use so that they can recommend the appropriate type and amount.