Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug




A medication that produces analgesia (pain relief) and reduces inflammation in joints and soft tissues, such as muscles and ligaments. The name non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is commonly abbreviated to NSAID. Commonly used NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen.

NSAIDs are widely used to relive symptoms caused by types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and gout. They do not cure or halt the progress of disease but improve mobility of the affected joint by relieving pain and stiffness.

NSAIDs are also used in the treatment of back pain, menstrual pain, headaches, pain after minor surgery, and soft tissue injuries.

They reduce pain and inflammation by blocking the production of prostaglandins (chemicals that cause inflammation and trigger transmission of pain signals to the brain).

NSAIDs sometimes cause adverse effects such as nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and peptic ulcer.


Related category

   • HEALTH AND DISEASE