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Anti-inflammatory drugs are used far more than anyone ever acknowledges. These painkillers are known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or just ‘anti-inflammatories’ and are utilized to treat sprains, period pains, etc. Moreover, these drugs are widely used as initial therapy for common inflammation. Everyone is well aware of these types of drugs with millions consuming them for relief of the pain. They range from ibuprofen and over the counter aspirin to a mass of prescription brands.

anti inflammatory drugs

These pharmaceutical agents comprise one of the most broadly used categories of drugs, with more than seventy million prescriptions and greater than thirty billion over-the-counter tablets sold annually in the USA alone. NSAIDs are called on- steroidal because they are not steroids.  Steroids affect inflammation by restraining part of the immune system that is the body’s natural therapeutic response to trauma. Rather, NSAID drugs primarily inhibit the body’s capability to produce prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a family of hormone-like chemicals, a few of which are made in reaction to cell injury.

Some Common Side Effects of Anti-inflammatory drugs

A majority of individuals who intake these drugs do not have any troubles, but some of them develop side effects, which can be life-threatening.

  • Specifically – if you have a particular gut condition or cardiovascular (heart, stroke, or blood vessel disease) or you are elderly, these medicines can have a very severe impact. This is why it is imperative that you consume these drugs with caution and only use them when no other alternatives are available.

These anti-inflammatories might have a soothing impact at the time, relieving you from the severe pain that you have been suffering with, but the long-term effect of these drugs can be ugly. Numerous individuals who prefer self-medication become a target of the harmful effects caused by these drugs. Thousands of people die because of these drugs but are completely unaware of it.

Bleeding into the stomach and gut

Sometimes, anti-inflammatory drugs cause the stomach lining to bleed. It is because these drugs reduce the chemicals, also contribute to protecting the stomach lining from the effects that the acid in the stomach has. This additionally causes the development of stomach ulcers or severe bleeding that can be a threat to life as well. Although, elderly individuals are more inclined to this issue, yet it can happen to anyone. Therefore, on the off chance that you are taking an anti-inflammatory and you happen to develop abdominal pains, pass dark stools or blood, or vomit blood, then you should immediately stop taking this medication and consult a doctor.

anti inflammatory drugs

  • Temporary use of Anti-inflammatory drugs can be the basis of stomach upset (dyspepsia)whereas using these drugs for a longer period can lead to peptic ulcer disease and bleeding from the stomach (discussed above). NSAIDs may be linked with numerous gastrointestinal problems that can range from severe to mild dyspeptic symptoms, the development of duodenal or gastric ulceration, hemorrhage, or perforation, and other events that may lead to death or hospitalization.

Why NSAIDS Cause Stomach Bleeding 

NSAIDs obstruct with the cyclo-oxygenase (COX) pathways that direct to the production of prostanoids (prostacyclins, prostaglandins, and thromboxane). This meddles with mucosal protection by plummeting the efficiency of the mucus-bicarbonate barrier; gastric acid, and possibly pepsin, are consequently more likely to cause harm. The fact that most anti-inflammatory drugs are also feeble acids may also be a contributing factor.

The danger of bleeding into the stomach is expanded if you are taking anti-inflammatory drugs with

  • steroids, warfarin, or ibuprofen (utilized by numerous individuals to prevent a heart attack or stroke).
  • Such a combination is advice to be used if only necessary. Individuals who are 65+, especially with a history of duodenal or stomach ulcer should be prescribed another medicine that can guard their stomach lining against the adverse effects of the anti-inflammatory drugs.

Alternative NSAIDs you can Use 

Another kind of anti-inflammatory drug is being researched on, may have a possibility for a lower risk of stomach bleeding.  These types of anti-inflammatory are known as selective COX-2 inhibitors. Nevertheless, you must not take a selective COX-2 inhibitor if you have a cardiovascular disease such as heart attack (myocardial infarction), angina, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

The COX-2 drugs that remain obtainable should be utilized only when you and your doctor agree that anti-inflammatory is the best drug for your condition, an elevated risk of gastrointestinal bleeding is there and on the whole, a danger of problematic events are suitable given the intensity of your pain and disability.

Rainee Allen

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October 2019
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