Know Your NSAIDs to Reduce Risks, Maximize Relief

Prescription painkillers or over-the-counter meds? Knowing the options can help ease your arthritis discomfort safely.

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The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, is as widespread as the arthritis they treat. Yet, despite the common usage of NSAIDs by more than 40 million Americans each day to manage chronic pain, the drugs remain misunderstood and often misused by those who rely on them most. "Patients over the age of 60 need to be careful not only because of their increased risk for side effects, but also for the negative interactions NSAIDs may have with other medications theyre taking," says Mandy Leonard, Pharm.D., BCPS, a pharmacist and assistant director for Drug Information Services and Formulary Management at Cleveland Clinic. "You should always have a pharmacist review the list of drugs youre currently taking before beginning any NSAID therapy."
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