Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Definition

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a class of drugs that work to decrease blood levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that promote inflammation and pain. Effective for the treatment of inflammation, mild to moderate pain, and fever, NSAIDs are often used for headaches, sports injuries, and the symptoms of arthritis. Some of the most common NSAIDs include ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, naproxen, and celecoxib (Celebrex).

Because they are associated with many side effects, their use should be monitored when used on a prolonged basis. Most common complaints include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or headache. More serious risks include retention of fluid causing edema, kidney or liver failure, or formation of ulcers.