NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) Please rate this page (bottom of page)

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NSAIDs are a group of medications that are widely used for rheumatic pain. NSAIDs are available as tablets, suppositories, injection and gel / cream. Nevertheless, paracetamol is usually the first choice for rheumatic pain and is preferred before NSAIDs. Neither paracetamol nor NSAIDs are addictive, but their use may be limited by the risk of other side effects.

NSAIDs do not affect the course of the disease, but reduce pain and discomfort, especially in rheumatic inflammation of the joints. NSAIDs do not contain cortisone (steroids) or addictive substances. Among the most common NSAIDs in the Norwegian market are: ibuprofen (Ibux), naproxen (Napren-E), diclofenac (Volraren), piroksicam (Brexidol). Among the subgroup COX-II inhibitors etherococcib (Arcoxia) is widely used. Some combinations between NSAIDs and a ulcer-protective agent is also used (Artrotec: diclofenac + misoprostol. Vivomo: naproxen + esomeprazole).

Before start of treatment assess whether there is a risk of side effects. These can be ulcer, serious asthma, kidney failure, liver failure, severe heart disease or allergy to the ingredients. One is also careful if blood-thinning drugs are used because the risk of bleeding can then increase. One should define a treatment goal before starting treatment.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding. NSAIDs can reduce the ability to get pregnant as long as the drug is used. NSAIDs can not be used throughout pregnancy and some should not be used at all. Ibuprofen can be used, except for the last two months before birth. In any case, the doses should be as low as possible during pregnancy. Please read information about pregnancy in rheumatic diseases on a separate page here and about NSAID and pregnancy here

Dosage. The dosage for children follows body weight and is in any case different for the different NSAIDs.

Prescription. Many NSAIDs can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription. In chronic rheumatic diseases, the doctor gives a "blue" prescription.

Side effects. Side effects may occur and the risk must be compared with the indication for treatment. Common side effects:

  • NSAID tablets and suppositories should not be used at risk ulcer. Concurrent use of Prednisone and other cortisone drugs increase the risk
  • Take special care asthma and allergies that worsen in some cases
  • General increased bleeding risk is seen with concomitant use of anticoagulants ("Blood Thinners" drugs) such as Marevan, Fragmin, Klexane, Albyl-E, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Eliquis and Lixiana
  • NSAIDs can affect kidney and liver function
  • Some suffer from visual disturbances and dizziness
  • The drugs may increase the risk of heart attack, especially at high doses

Checks and follow-up. Medical examinations should rule out signs of side effects and whether the effect is as desired. In order to assess the effect (after, for example, three months of treatment), assessment of symptoms at the starting point and during treatment is important.

For more information is recommended Felleskatalogen.no

Patient information is available via the Norwegian Medical Associationa / Norwegian Rheumatological Association


Medication for rheumatic diseases

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