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Definition of «NSAID»

NSAID: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for the inflammation of arthritis and other body tissues, such as in tendinitis and bursitis. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, indomethacin (Indocin), ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and nabumetone (Relafen).

The major side effects of NSAIDs are gastrointestinal. Some 10%-50% of patients are unable to tolerate NSAID treatment because of abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, and upset stomach. About 15% of patients on long-term NSAID treatment develop ulcers of the stomach and duodenum. Even though many of these patients with ulcers do not have symptoms and are unaware of their ulcers, they are at risk of developing serious ulcer complications such as bleeding or perforation of the stomach.

The annual risk of serious complications is 1%-4% with chronic NSAID treatment. The risk of complications is higher in elderly patients, in those with rheumatoid arthritis, patients taking blood thinning medications (anticoagulants such as Coumadin and heparin) or prednisone (cortisone medication), and patients with heart disease or a prior history of bleeding ulcers.

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