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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs)

Read more about Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs).


Common names for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents(NSAIDs) include:

Effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs) on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are currently twenty prescription NSAIDs on the market, each having a slightly different chemistry and side effect profile. NSAIDs can be as effective as cortisone in helping treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and are safer over the long run, although they do have side effects. The newer and more expensive selective NSAIDs (celecoxib and rofecoxib) are expected to produce fewer stomach and intestinal problems.

Side Effects and Warnings

Drinking alcoholic beverages or taking other NSAIDs while you are already using an NSAID can increase your risk of side effects. Always take NSAIDs with food to decrease the chance of stomach irritation.

Possible side effects include:

  • Stomach upset
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver inflammation
  • Confusion, dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Severe allergic reaction (hives, difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes)
  • Increased risk of bleeding – Always inform your healthcare providers that you are taking an NSAID before having any medical or dental procedures or surgeries.

Take special care with NSAIDs if you have had an ulcer or gastritis, as they can irritate these conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a stomach condition before you start taking any of these medications.