Anti-inflammatory drugs are a broad category of medications. Ranging from steroids to aspirin, there are many applications where they can be used. Typically, anti-inflammatory medications are broken down into two categories: NSAIDs and steroids.
Many people have taken NSAIDs without knowing the medical title. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are simply medicines that relieve inflammation and pain. Common medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen are NSAIDs.
These drugs work well against back pain, arthritis pain and a variety of other conditions including osteoarthritis, muscle sprains, back strains and more.
NSAIDs are effective because they block the body’s production of certain chemicals that cause inflammation. They work similarly to steroids but without the side effects associated with steroids.
One of the benefits of NSAIDS is their availability. Most of these medications are available without prescription including:
• Aspirin compounds (Bayer, Bufferin Anacin, Ascriptin and Excedrin)
• Ketoprofen (Orudis)
• Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin and Medipren)
• Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
Over-the-counter NSAIDs should typically never be taken continuously over two weeks. They are meant for short-term pain treatment. Generally, these drugs start working within a few hours. They can be taken every 4-6 hours. For those who use NSAIDs for long-term use, one or two dosages a day will suffice.
Steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are known as corticosteroids. These drugs help in the fight against inflammation. Inhaled steroids are commonly used in preventing asthma symptoms.
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