NSAIDs Side Effects

While most people have no problems with NSAIDs, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. A few common side effects include nausea, heartburn, and dizziness. There are also some side effects of NSAIDs that require immediate medical attention, including chest pain, shortness of breath, or weakness on one part of your body. These side effects can indicate a heart attack or stroke.

An Overview of NSAID Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects can occur with NSAIDs. However, not everyone who takes them will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate these medications well. If people do develop NSAID side effects, in many cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
There are several factors that seem to affect the chances of side effects with NSAIDs, including:
  • The dosage and type of NSAID
  • Your age
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medicines you may be taking.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with these medications. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of NSAID side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of NSAIDs

All NSAIDs have been studied extensively in clinical trials, with many people worldwide having been evaluated. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to the side effects that occurred in another group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common NSAID side effects include:
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