Nonsteroidal Antinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and pain treatment: directions for their proper use

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Heterogeneous in their chemical structure, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a homogeneous group as to the pharmacological effects. In fact, in addition to acting as an anti-inflammatory, all activities have also analgesic and antipyretic effects, which makes them drugs for vast clinical use. These pharmacological properties, together with the increased prevalence of chronic diseases in Western Nations, have resulted in an increased use of NSAIDs in recent decades that today represent about 8% of total prescriptions. Despite the high flexibility of NSAIDs, the occurrence of liver, renal, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal side effects are very frequent. In particular, the gastrointestinal damage from NSAIDs, are a major cause of mortality and especially the most common cause of hospitalization for adverse events, so it is desirable to prescribe of NSAIDs, when it is really needed, so as to reduce or prevent side effects.

Keywords: guidelines, mechanism of action, NSAIDs, side effects

Also available in : Italiano