If you suffer from chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, headaches, arthritis, or even have dental issues (such as TMD) and menstrual cramps, then you’re most likely familiar with NSAIDs – also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The most common, traditional names of NSAIDs that you might be most familiar with include Ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin), Naproxen (such as Aleve), and Aspirin. These medications are not only used to treat mild to moderate pain as mentioned above, but they are also used to reduce inflammation, fevers, and to prevent blood from clotting.

While many of these NSAIDs are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy and are relatively inexpensive to buy, you may require a prescription for certain NSAIDs, such as Toradol (also known as Ketorolac), Celebrex, and Diclofenac. The type of NSAID you need depends on the type of condition that is being treated. Toradol, for example, which is available in both injectable and oral form, is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It’s commonly used in those who suffer from headaches, and is said to be as (if not more) effective than narcotics. While medications like Celebrex and Diclofenac are geared towards individuals who suffer from arthritis.

Unlike opiates, NSAIDs are not habit-forming, which makes them a top choice for pain management with family physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary in Vancouver. That being said, just like any other medication, there are still dangers that can come along with taking NSAIDs that doctors and pharmacists want patients to be aware of. Common side effects of NSAIDs include stomach upset, heartburn and indigestion, so it’s recommended that you take them with food if possible. You can also decrease the risk of these symptoms by taking a PPI medication or OTC medication used for heartburn, such as Tums. These medications can help to protect the stomach from the effects of NSAIDs.

Long-term use of NSAIDs is generally not recommended, though in some cases is unavoidable depending on the circumstances, and your doctor will weigh the risks vs. the benefits. As such, you should also keep an eye out for things like gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, fluid retention and hypertension (high blood pressure.)

If you have any questions about the use of NSAIDs, feel free to stop into Brentwood Medical Clinic as a walk-in patient to see Dr. Ali Ghahary. You can find Dr. Ghahary’s schedule by clicking here. If you would like to contact the clinic directly or find directions on how to get there, you can visit Dr. Ali Ghahary’s Yelp page or go to the clinic website at brentwoodwalk-inclinic.com.