Risks to Regular Usage of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Corticosteroids

Risks to Regular Usage of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Corticosteroids

Regular usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, like any medication, comes with potential risks and side effects.  There are many natural remedies to reduce inflammation without drugs.  Here are some of the risks associated with their long-term or excessive use:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

Gastrointestinal effects: NSAIDs can cause irritation and damage to the lining of the stomach and intestines, leading to ulcers, bleeding, and gastrointestinal complications. Long-term use or higher doses of NSAIDs increase the risk of these adverse effects.

Cardiovascular risks: Some studies have suggested that certain NSAIDs, particularly high-dose or long-term use of drugs like diclofenac and ibuprofen, may slightly increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, especially in individuals with pre-existing heart conditions.

Kidney damage: Prolonged or excessive use of NSAIDs can impair kidney function and lead to kidney damage, particularly in individuals with existing kidney problems.

Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to NSAIDs, ranging from mild skin rashes to severe anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Interaction with other medications: NSAIDs can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, diuretics, and some antidepressants, potentially increasing the risk of adverse effects or reducing the effectiveness of the medications.


Immune system suppression: Long-term or high-dose use of corticosteroids can suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of infections and impairing the body's ability to fight off diseases.

Osteoporosis and bone loss: Prolonged use of corticosteroids can lead to bone loss, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of fractures.

Adrenal suppression: Continuous use of corticosteroids can interfere with the normal functioning of the adrenal glands, which produce essential hormones. This can lead to adrenal insufficiency, where the body is unable to produce sufficient cortisol, resulting in fatigue, weight loss, and other symptoms.

Glaucoma and cataracts: Long-term use of corticosteroids, particularly in high doses or if applied near the eyes, can increase the risk of developing glaucoma or cataracts.

Mood and behavioral changes: Corticosteroids can cause mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and other behavioral changes, especially at higher doses or with long-term use.

It's important to note that the risks and side effects can vary depending on the specific NSAID or corticosteroid used, the dosage, duration of use, and individual factors. Healthcare professionals carefully weigh the benefits and risks when prescribing these medications and may monitor patients closely to minimize potential adverse effects.

If you are taking NSAIDs or corticosteroids regularly, it's essential to discuss any concerns or potential side effects with your healthcare provider and follow their guidance for proper usage, monitoring, and potential alternatives.

Here are examples of commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids:

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):

  1. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  2. Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  3. Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin)
  4. Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  5. Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  6. Indomethacin (Indocin)
  7. Meloxicam (Mobic)
  8. Ketoprofen (Orudis)
  9. Piroxicam (Feldene)
  10. Etodolac (Lodine)


  1. Prednisone
  2. Prednisolone
  3. Dexamethasone
  4. Hydrocortisone
  5. Methylprednisolone
  6. Triamcinolone
  7. Betamethasone
  8. Fluticasone (inhaled corticosteroid used for asthma and allergies)
  9. Budesonide (inhaled corticosteroid used for asthma and allergies)
  10. Beclomethasone (inhaled corticosteroid used for asthma and allergies)

These are just a few examples, and there are other NSAIDs and corticosteroids available. The specific choice of medication and dosage depends on the individual's condition, the severity of inflammation, and other factors. Always consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation, prescription, and guidance regarding the use of these medications.

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