What Are NSAIDs and Are They Dangerous Taken Long Term?

posted Nov 11, 2013, 12:14 PM by Thomas Hnat   [ updated Dec 1, 2013, 7:38 PM by Unknown user ]

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are taken to alleviate pain caused by inflammation. They counteract the COX (cyclooxygenase) enzyme, which synthesizes prostaglandins which create inflammation. If prostaglandin synthesis can be blocked, pain is either eliminated or reduced.

Examples of NSAIDs include naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin.

People should not use NSAIDs long-term without being under the supervision of a doctor, because there is a risk of stomach ulcers, and even severe and life-threatening hemorrhage. NSAIDs may also worsen asthma symptoms and cause kidney damage. NSAID medications, with the exception of aspirin, can also increase the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack).