One of the most common medications for pain relief and control is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs), which are usually taken orally in tablet form. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used as part of a pharmacologic pain management plan to reduce breakthrough pain and chronic pain – particularly in the back or knee – that lasts more than a few months. NSAIDs are available over-the-counter at most local pharmacies and by prescription at pain management centers like the Regional Pain Institute. The pain management physicians at the Regional Pain Institute help patients with acute and chronic pain conditions find relief and regain control through a variety of treatment options – one being pharmacologic care through NSAID therapy. Below are a few of the over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs that are generally recommended at our pain management center. For a longer list or to find out if NSAID therapy is right for you, contact us directly.

Over-the-counter NSAIDs

Prescription NSAIDs







Naproxen Sodium


Aspirin, Acetaminophen & Caffeine
(i.e. Excedrin®)

Cox II Inhibitors (i.e. Celebrex®)

Inflammation is caused by chemicals in the body and characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. The objective of NSAID medications is to reduce inflammation by blocking the effect of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase that helps produce prostaglandin – the primary chemical responsible for inflammation. By decreasing the production of prostaglandins, this enzyme interference decreases pain and swelling as well. While some over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs are taken when needed, others are administered as NSAID therapy in which the dose and schedule is measured and the response to the regimen is assessed over a prolonged amount of time. If you are a candidate for pharmacologic pain management through NSAID medication, the physicians at the Regional Pain Institute will help determine if NSAID therapy is something you should pursue as treatment for your acute or chronic pain condition.

Although uncommon, some patients who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs experience what can be serious complications, such as gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, and kidney damage. Other less severe side effects include stomach pain and heartburn, or headaches and dizziness. It is important that you talk to one of the pain management physicians at the Regional Pain Institute before you start taking NSAID medications or begin NSAID therapy. Be sure to inform him or her of any medications you may be taking or other medical problems you may have, particularly hypertension, asthma, kidney or stomach problems. With all critical medical information, we will be able to provide you with a safe and effective pain management treatment, so that you can find the pain relief you need to live life to the fullest.