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What are the risks of using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain?

Many people use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat acute pain. This category includes ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. These drugs are available over the counter. They are fairly safe, but you should make sure to follow the dosage recommendations on the bottle, both hour by hour and day by day. Taking too many NSAIDs can cause ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Because they can thin the blood, they should not be used immediately after surgery, as it makes bleeding more likely. Anticoagulant medications and alcohol can increase this effect. In very large amounts or over long periods of use they can cause kidney and liver problems. People with a history of stroke, heart or stomach problems, or who take corticosteroids or diuretics should also exercise caution. There is a possibility of allergic reaction to the drugs, too. Pregnant women should not use NSAIDs during their last trimester.

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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.