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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, are most commonly prescribed for inflammation and pain, making them a commonly prescribed drug for low back pain and sciatica. They are referred to as nonsteroidal to distinguish them from steroids which have some similar effects.
Common names include:
- Naproxen sodium (Naprosyn)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin)
- Diclofenac sodium (Voltaren)
Effect of NSAIDs on Low Back Pain and Sciatica
These drugs work to control the painful inflammation commonly associated with lower back pain and sciatica. Some prescription NSAIDs are higher doses of the same NSAIDs that are available without a prescription. These can be a relief when you suffer from unbearable pain, but will not cure the underlying cause of your sciatica and/or lower back pain. You'll want to consider lifestyle modifications that will do more than treat the symptoms and will treat/alter/relieve the cause of your back pain.
To read more about the lifestyle modifications that can be done to help treat, and maybe even cure, your back/sciatica pain, visit our low back pain and sciatica treatment page.
Read more details about NSAIDs.
Patients who develop signs of allergic reaction to aspirin should seek emergency care. Below are some of the signs to watch out for:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- stomach discomfort or heartburn
Serious side effects may occur with aspirin use. Patients are advised to stop using aspirin and contact the healthcare provider immediately if any of the following signs and symptoms occur:
- black, bloody, or tarry stools
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; * swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days
- ringing in the ears
- fever lasting longer than 3 days
It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies or reactions to medicine, food preservatives, or dyes. Make sure to tell how the allergy usually affects you. This includes telling about the signs and symptoms of allergy that you usually experience such as rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved
Do not take any over-the-counter medication without checking with your doctor. Many over the counter medicines contain aspirin. Using this products while on aspirin therapy can be harmful. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains aspirin.
Avoid taking an NSAID while you are taking aspirin. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others. Alcohol should be avoided while taking aspirin. Alcohol may increase one's risk of stomach bleeding.
If any of the conditions below applies to you, dose adjustment maybe needed or your doctor may request for some tests to find out if you can safely take aspirin.
- asthma or seasonal allergies
- nasal polyps
- gastric ulcers
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Aspirin should not be used by patients who have a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding; a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or an allergy to an NSAIDs.
Taking aspirin with other drugs may produce undesirable adverse effect. These drugs include:
Heparin and other blood thinners. Administering aspirin with anticoagulants may increase the risk of bleeding and prolong bleeding time.
Antacids. These drugs may reduce the rate of aspirin absorption
Urine acidifiers. Drugs such as ascorbic acid, sodium phosphate, and ammonium chloride reduce the rate of excretion of salicylic acid by promoting its reabsorption.
Urine alkalinizers ( i.e. methotrexate). Urine alkalinizers increase aspirin's excretion rate.
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