What is nsaids?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for children: Overview

NSAIDs relieve pain and fever. They also reduce swelling and inflammation. You can get these medicines over the counter or with a prescription.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is a common over-the-counter NSAID for children. Aspirin is also an NSAID. But do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.

Make sure your child takes NSAIDS exactly as prescribed. Do not use ibuprofen if your child is less than 6 months old unless the doctor gave you instructions to use it. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine. If your child takes an over-the-counter NSAID, read and follow all instructions on the label.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve pain and fever and to reduce swelling and inflammation caused by injury or diseases such as arthritis. Aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen are commonly used NSAIDs.

NSAIDs may cause side effects. The most common are stomach upset, heartburn, and nausea. NSAIDs may irritate the stomach lining. If the medicine upsets your stomach, you can try taking it with food. But if that doesn't help, talk with your doctor to make sure it's not a more serious problem.

Frequent or long-term use of NSAIDs may lead to stomach ulcers or high blood pressure. They can also cause a severe allergic reaction.

  • NSAIDs have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, skin reactions, and serious stomach and intestinal bleeding. These risks are greater if NSAIDs are taken at higher doses or for longer periods than recommended.
  • Aspirin, unlike other NSAIDs, can help certain people lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke. But taking aspirin isn't right for everyone, because it can cause serious bleeding. Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day.
  • Because aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding, it is not recommended for new injuries. Take other medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen for the first 2 or 3 days after an injury.

NSAIDs should be taken exactly as prescribed or according to the label. Taking a larger dose or taking the medicine longer than recommended can increase the risk of dangerous side effects.

Talk to your doctor about whether NSAIDs are right for you. People who are older than 65 or who have existing heart, stomach, kidney, liver, or intestinal disease are at higher risk for problems. For other people, the benefits may outweigh the risks.

Aspirin should not be given to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome, a rare but serious disease.

What are some examples of NSAIDs?

Here are some examples of NSAIDs. For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names.

Over-the-counter NSAIDs

  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

Prescription NSAIDs

  • celecoxib
  • diclofenac
  • etodolac
  • indomethacin
  • piroxicam

These are not complete lists of NSAIDs.

How do you give ibuprofen to children?

For children, the dose of ibuprofen (such as Motrin or Advil) is based on the child's weight. Do not use ibuprofen if your child is less than 6 months old unless the doctor gave you instructions to use it. For children 6 months and older, read and follow all instructions on the label.

What are some cautions about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)?

Taking NSAIDs has some risks. These include increased risks of heart attack, stroke, skin reactions, and serious bleeding. People who are over 65 or have heart, stomach, kidney, liver, or intestinal disease have increased risks. Taking NSAIDS when you are also taking certain medicines may increase the risks.

How can you safely use NSAIDs?

  • Do not use an over-the-counter NSAID for longer than 10 days. Talk to your doctor first.
  • The most common side effects from NSAIDs are stomachaches, heartburn, and nausea. NSAIDs may irritate the stomach lining. If the medicine upsets your stomach, you can try taking it with food. But if that doesn't help, talk with your doctor to make sure it's not a more serious problem, such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the stomach or intestines.
  • Using NSAIDs may:
    • Lead to high blood pressure.
    • Make symptoms of heart failure worse.
    • Raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and skin reactions.
  • Your risks are greater if you take NSAIDs at higher doses or for longer than the label says. People who are older than 65 or who have heart, stomach, or intestinal disease have a higher risk for problems.

Aspirin

Aspirin is not like other NSAIDs. It can help people who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke. But taking aspirin isn't right for everyone, because it can cause serious bleeding.

Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day. You and your doctor can decide if aspirin is a good choice for you based on your risk of a heart attack or stroke and your risk of serious bleeding. Unless you have a high risk of a heart attack or stroke, the benefits of aspirin probably won't outweigh the risk of bleeding.

  • If you use other NSAIDs a lot, aspirin may not work as well to prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • If you take aspirin every day for your heart, talk with your doctor before you take other NSAIDs.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.

What are some cautions about NSAIDs?

Cautions for NSAIDs include the following:

  • NSAIDs can make certain serious conditions more likely, such as:
    • Stomach problems, especially in older adults. These problems include stomach or intestinal bleeding.
    • Heart attack and stroke. This is especially true if you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. This risk may be higher if you use NSAIDs for a long time or use higher doses of an NSAID.
    • A sudden kidney problem called acute kidney injury.
  • NSAIDs can make certain health problems worse, such as heart failure and kidney disease.
  • If you are using over-the-counter NSAIDs, don't use them for longer than 10 days without talking to your doctor.

Why are NSAIDs used?

NSAIDS are used for many different health problems. NSAIDs help with pain and fever. They can also help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by an injury or a disease. Some NSAIDs can also help ease cramping and reduce blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for children: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child vomits blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
  • Your child passes maroon or very bloody stools.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child's stools are black and tarlike or have streaks of blood.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

What are the side effects of NSAIDs?

The most common side effects of NSAIDs are stomach upset, heartburn, and nausea. NSAIDs can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include hives, swelling of the face, wheezing, and shock. If you have any of these symptoms, call911. Taking more of the medicine than what's recommended can increase your risk of side effects.

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