What Are Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Medications?


Quick Answer

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, states WebMD. These medicines block enzymes in the body that create pain signals. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines reduce fever and relieve mild pains and aches caused by the flu, the common cold and other conditions.

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Full Answer

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications include ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, according to WebMD. Common side effects of these medicines are heartburn, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. Increased blood pressure, stomach bleeding, stomach ulcers and allergic reactions are less common side effects for an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. People with underlying conditions, such as heart, liver or kidney disease, are at a higher risk for side effects.

Drinking alcohol while taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine increases the risk of stomach issues, explains WebMD. It is advised to take this medicine with water and food and to consult a doctor if a drug that blocks stomach acid is also being taken. Pregnant or nursing women, people over the age of 60 and those with high blood pressure should consult a doctor before taking this medicine.

Naproxen sodium is typically not recommended for children under the age of 2, advises WebMD. Teenagers and children recovering from viral infections should not take aspirin. Children 6 months and older can safely take the proper dosage of ibuprofen. Seek medical help if pain or fever continues after 10 days of taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine.

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