Last reviewed 05/2019

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) act to reduce inflammation and pain by interupting the synthesis of prostaglandins.

NSAIDS inhibit the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase (COX).

As single dose for acute pain there is probably no advantage of NSAIDs over paracetamol; however with chronic inflammatory conditions regular NSAID therapy offers prolonged pain relief with a useful anti-inflammatory action.

Despite their efficacy, NSAIDs are limited by their gastrointestinal side-effects, particularly gastric ulceration.

NICE suggest that a clinician should

  • co-prescribe a PPI for people over 45