What are the side effects of NSAID pain relievers?


Quick Answer

Side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include nausea, constipation, dizziness and drowsiness, according to MedicineNet. Serious side effects of taking NSAID pain relievers are ulcers, liver failure and kidney failure.

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Full Answer

The most common side effects of taking NSAIDs are gastrointestinal problems, reports Cleveland Clinic. Patients can alleviate these symptoms by taking the medications on a full stomach or taking them with antacids or milk. If the side effects persist, the individual should discontinue use of NSAIDs and consult his health care provider.

Some patients, especially those who suffer from asthma, may develop allergic reactions after consuming NSAIDs, according to RxList. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to NSAIDs include difficulty swallowing, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and swollen eyes, tongue or lips, notes Cleveland Clinic.

Patients may experience swelling in their hands and ankles after taking NSAIDs due to fluid retention, states RxList. NSAIDs may increase a patient's risk of developing stroke and heart attack. This is especially the case for patients who already have an underlying blood vessel or heart diseases.

The chances of experiencing side effects while taking NSAIDs increase when the patient takes them for long periods of time, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Therefore, the patient should take the lowest possible dose of NSAIDs for the shortest period of time, advises Harvard Health Publications. If he has to take it for long periods of time, a doctor should monitor him to test for kidney function and to check for serious side effects such as stomach bleeding and ulcers.

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