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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of medications used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. They are one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, available both over-the-counter and by prescription, in various forms and doses. While these drugs are effective, they also come with serious side effects and complications.

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1. How Do NSAIDs Work?

NSAIDs work by blocking a group of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase — COX-1 and COX-2 — from producing prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that are one of the biggest contributors to inflammation. They also affect blood flow and clotting. By inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins, NSAIDs reduce pain and inflammation, lower fever, and extend clotting times.

NSAIDs capsules tablets Fahroni / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.