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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