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Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs)

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Adult

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAIDs) - Additional Information

How LONG does it take for the medicine to be EFFECTIVE?

  • It usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour for NSAIDs for pain relief. A longer time to effect is required for anti-inflammatory effect. The usual duration is 1 week.  

When do I seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY?

  • Come back to the hospital if you have:

    • Signs of an allergic reaction such as rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Bad skin irritation
    • Jaundice (eyes or skin turn yellow)
    • Breathlessness
    • Gastric irritation with dark stools


  • Always inform your physician and pharmacist of all the medications that you are taking as there are certain medications not suitable to be taken with NSAIDs.
  • NSAIDs generally cause blood to be thin. If you are taking any long term blood thinners such as aspirin, clopidogrel or warfarin, do inform your physician and pharmacist. Taking NSAIDs with a blood thinner may increase the risk of bleeding especially in the stomach.
  • Always check with the doctor or pharmacist first before self-treatment with any over-the-counter medicines.
  • DO NOT take any supplements, alternative or herbal medicines without informing your doctor or pharmacist. Some herbal or alternative medicines have blood thinning effect and can increase the risk of bleeding

What special DIETARY instructions should I follow?

  • Maintain adequate hydration (2-3 liters of fluid a day, unless otherwise advised by your doctor) and nutrition (small, frequent meals are preferred).
  • Alcohol should be avoided if possible or kept to a minimum as suggested by your rheumatologist because alcohol may increase the risk of liver toxicity associated with NSAIDs.


  • NSAIDs may affect female fertility with chronic use.
  • NSAIDs may also potentially cause harm to the fetus. Do inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning for pregnancy and require to have ongoing therapy with NSAIDs.
  • NSAIDs are generally found to be safe for use in patients who are breast-feeding, however, you are still highly encouraged to inform your physician and pharmacist if you intend to breastfeed and is on concurrent NSAIDs therapy.

In SUMMARY… what you need to know about NSAID?

  • Beware of the SIDE EFFECTS and when to get immediate medical attention.
  • Never take medicines, supplements or herbal treatments OVER-THE-COUNTER without checking with your physician or pharmacist first.
  • If you (female) intent to start a family, please inform your doctor as NSAIDs may affect your fetus and fertility.
  • If you have further questions about NSAIDs, please call ______________________ (office number) to discuss with your doctor / pharmacist / specialty nurse (please circle as appropriate).

Read on for more information on the use of nSAIDs as postnatal medication.

  • Updated on 6/12/2015 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Singapore General Hospital
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth


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