NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are a type of drug which are able to provide fever reducing and analgesic effects to the recipient. If provided in higher doses, they are also able to provide anti-inflammatory effects, thus providing them with their name. The use of the term "nonsteroidal" differentiates these drugs from steroids. When compared to a wide range of other effects, it is said that these drugs have a similar depressing, anti-inflammatory result. When considered as analgesics, these types of drugs are considered to be different in the sense that they are non-narcotic. Common members of this group of drugs can be considered to be ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. All of these drugs are available on an over the counter basis in most countries around the world.
The use of most NSAIDs are approved for the use and treatment of chronic and acute conditions where inflammation and pain are typical. There are still studies being used to find out if there is any potential use of NSAIDs to prevent colorectal cancer and other conditions. However, NSAIDs are usually indicated for the use and symptomatic relief of conditions such as gout, headaches, migraines, menstruation, osteoarthritis, and many other conditions. Aspirin is considered to be the only NSAID that can irreversibly inhibit COX-1 and is used for the inhibiting of platelet aggregation in the bloodstream. It can be helpful for those who are dealing with arterial thrombosis and various cardiovascular conditions.
There is often some concern about the use of NSAIDs because many people fear that they are used improperly since they are over the counter drugs. Since they are available so easily, it makes it convenient for individuals to purchase the drug that they need and then self-medicate themselves. The fear is that people do not follow the indications that are provided on the packaging. When this is done, it can cause adverse reactions such as vomiting or liver damage. Individuals who take too high of a dosage or overdose purposely can cause great harm to themselves and can even become addicted to the use of these drugs. However, there are those who argue that people are more likely to become more addicted to prescription drugs than general NSAIDs that are available on an over the counter basis. Some doctors have recommended that a good way to avoid any possible liver damage is to take half of the recommended amount that is indicated within the medication instructions.