Examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, states MedlinePlus. Ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Motrin and Advil, and naproxen is sold under the brand names Naprosyn and Aleve. Prescription NSAIDs include celecoxib, sold under the brand name Celebrex, and nabumetone, sold under the brand name Relafen.
NSAIDs are used to reduce fever, relieve pain and decrease swelling associated with arthritis and muscle strains or sprains, according to MedlinePlus. When taken for 10 days or less, NSAIDs are considered safe for the majority of people. Individuals with a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease or bleeding from the digestive system should contact a doctor before taking NSAIDs. Individuals who are taking blood thinners should also seek approval from a doctor prior to using NSAIDs. Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers due to the risk of Reye's syndrome, a severe liver disease, explains RxList.
Common side effects associated with NSAIDs include nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness and drowsiness, according to RxList. Some people also experience headache, decreased appetite, and swelling in the arms and legs. NSAIDs sometimes cause severe side effects, such as ulcers, bleeding, kidney failure and liver failure. Allergic reactions to NSAIDs, usually characterized by shortness of breath, may also occur.