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How are NSAIDs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and hundreds of others that help to decrease pain by reducing inflammation and swelling. They have been found to be effective in treating osteoarthritis.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a class of medications used for pain relief. They can be bought over the counter (ibuprofen is one example) or in stronger prescription doses. As their name suggests, NSAIDs are used to treat inflammation. This is helpful in rheumatoid arthritis since it is an inflammatory disease. These drugs do not, however, help protect joints from being damaged by rheumatoid arthritis, so other drugs may be prescribed in conjunction with NSAIDs. There are side effects from taking NSAIDs, even the over-the-counter variety, so consult your doctor when using them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.