Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): What Are the Risks and When You Shouldn’t Take Them

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): What Are the Risks and When You Shouldn’t Take Them

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (abbreviated as NSAIDs) are quite common. Surely, everybody has heard about aspirin or ibuprofen. Well, these are medications included in the NSAID category. NSAIDs can be used if you’re dealing with fever and pain, as these medications can relieve such symptoms.

However, you need to be aware that there are reasons to stop taking NSAIDs. These drugs can also trigger some unpleasant side effects and pose serious risks. Thanks to, we can learn about those situations when we should avoid taking NSAIDs, as well as about their potential side effects.

What are the side effects of NSAIDs?

The most common side effects of NSAIDs might be tolerable for many people, but still, they can produce a lot of discomfort for others. Nausea, upset stomach, and heartburn are the most common possible side effects.

If you’re taking an NSAID, for instance, and you go through the upset stomach symptom, taking the same drug with food might be helpful. If the problem doesn’t go away, it could be an indicator that something more serious is going on in your body, which means that talking to your doctor becomes a ‘must.’

It’s also worth keeping in mind that taking NSAIDs could trigger a severe allergic reaction, such as wheezing, hives, shock, or swelling of the face. If you go through such symptoms, be sure to call the emergency services as soon as possible!

Obviously, you need to not take NSAIDs in higher dosages than the doctor prescribed to you. Also, you shouldn’t use a nonprescription NSAID for a period longer than ten days without asking your doctor for advice.

What are the NSAID risks?

NSAIDs have the potential to increase your chances of dealing with a stroke, heart attack, skin reactions, as well as stomach and intestinal bleeding. Such risks become higher if you take NSAID drugs for longer periods or at higher doses than recommended.

Aspirin is one of the NSAIDs, but unlike other meds from the category, it can help some people lower the risk of dealing with a stroke or heart attack. However, aspirin can’t help anyone, as it can cause serious bleeding for some people.

If you’re over the age of 65 years old or you have existing stomach, heart, liver, kidney, or intestinal diseases, it means you have a higher risk of facing problems because of the use of NSAIDs.

If you’re a pregnant woman, you’re trying to become pregnant, or you are breastfeeding, it’s crucial to ask your doctor if it’s ok to to take NSAIDs.

Also, if you have ever dealt with allergic reactions to any form of pain medicine, you shouldn’t take NSAIDs.

You need to have your doctor’s approval to take NSAID if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Ulcers
  • Bleeding issues
  • A history of intestinal or stomach bleeding
  • Anemia
  • You drink over three alcoholic beverages per day
  • Upset stomach, stomach pain, or heartburn that lasts a while and returns
  • Liver, kidney, or heart disease
  • A high blood pressure

When you should stop taking NSAIDs

You need to stop taking NSAIDs if you’re dealing with any of the next signs of infection:

  • Pain increase
  • Pus forming in the wound
  • Injuries or wounds that feel hot when touching them or around them
  • Fever
  • Redness or red streaks that extend from injuries or wounds
  • Swollen glands appearing above injuries or wounds

Ultimately, it’s always crucial to talk to your doctor to find out for sure if it’s ok for you to take NSAIDs. Each body is different, and each of us has different medical backgrounds.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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