NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are drugs used to act on pain related to inflammation. They are the basic treatment for people with ankylosing spondylitis and are used as pain killers for people with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.


These are usually tablets that should be taken according to the schedule indicated by your doctor. There is also an intrarectal form (suppository). This approach may be attempted if stomach discomfort occurs when taking an NSAID orally. For anti-inflammatory creams, they can be used to treat pain locally.

It is recommended to take a medicine that will protect your stomach if you are treated with an anti-inflammatory.

The possible side effects of these drugs are:


- Stomach pain, indigestion, burning, nausea, vomiting, black stools, headache, and dizziness.


Tell your doctor if you have: black, abnormally foul stools, vomiting with some blood filaments, or brownish vomiting.




  • If you are taking blood thinning medication such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, etc., discuss the risks with your doctor or pharmacist. This could increase the anticoagulant effect of your medication if the NSAID is taken on a regular basis.


  • If you are being followed for high pressure problems, be careful about taking NSAIDs. Your blood pressure may rise slightly which requires a closer follow-up from you. Make sure your rheumatologist knows about this condition.


  • If you have heart problems or recently had a heart attack, anti-inflammatory medications may not be prescribed to you. Tell your rheumatologist about any change in your heart condition, such as swollen legs at the end of the day.


  • If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, be aware that you will not be able to take NSAIDs during your pregnancy. NSAIDs carry risks for the fetus at each stage of pregnancy. If you wish to breastfeed your child and take NSAIDs at the same time, discuss the risks with your rheumatologist before resuming treatment.


  • If you are allergic to acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), it is important that your doctor be informed. You may not be able to receive NSAIDs because these drugs are related to acetylsalicylic acid.


The most common are:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Vimovo)

  • Diclofenac (Voltaren, Arthrotec)

  • Indomethacin (Indocid)

  • Meloxicam (Mobicox)

  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)


The medication that has been prescribed may not appear on this list. We suggest that you visit the medication guide on the website of the Arthritis Society or consult the explanatory sheets on the Rheuminfo website for more information on the subject. The information on this page was drawn from there.