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Back to Health A to Z. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs are medicines that are widely used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and bring down a high temperature.
They're often used to relieve symptoms of headachespainful periodssprains and strainscolds and fluarthritisand other causes of long-term pain. Although NSAIDs are commonly used, they're not suitable for everyone and can sometimes cause troublesome side effects. For information about a specific medicine, you can look up your medicine on our Medicines A-Z. There have been some news reports of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, making coronavirus worse.
The Commission on Human Medicines has now confirmed there is no clear evidence that using ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as a high temperature makes coronavirus worse. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat symptoms of coronavirus. Try paracetamol first if you can, as it has fewer side effects than ibuprofen and is the safer choice for most people. NSAIDs are available as tablets, capsules, suppositories capsules inserted into the bottomcreams, gels and injections. NSAIDs might not necessarily need to be avoided in these cases, but they should only be used on the advice of a healthcare professional as there may be a higher risk of side effects.
These tend to be more common if you're taking high doses for a long time, or you're elderly or in poor general health. If you're not sure whether a medicine you're taking is safe to take at the same time as an NSAID, check the leaflet that comes with it, or ask a pharmacist or doctor for advice. The leaflet that comes with your medicine should say whether you need to avoid any particular foods or drinks.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you're not sure.
UK website. Tablets or capsules should normally be swallowed whole and without chewing with water or food to stop them upsetting your stomach. It's usually safe to drink alcohol while taking NSAIDs, but drinking alcohol excessively may irritate your stomach. Contact your GP or NHS for advice immediately if you take too much of your medicine and you experience problems such as feeling or being sick, an upset stomach or drowsiness.
Call for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else experiences serious effects of an overdose, such as fits seizuresbreathing difficulties, or loss of consciousness. The main alternative for pain relief is paracetamolwhich is available over the counter and is safe for most people to take. NSAID creams and gels that you rub into your skin may be worth trying first if you have muscle or t pain in a particular part of your body, as they tend to have fewer side effects than tablets or capsules. Your doctor may also be able to recommend different medicines and therapies depending on the health problem you have.
For example, physiotherapy may help some people with muscle or t pain.
last reviewed: 27 February Next review due: 27 February Coronavirus advice There have been some news reports of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, making coronavirus worse. Always follow the instructions that come with your medicine.M 27 looking for nsa
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