Join for Just $16 A Year
- Discounts on travel and everyday savings
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine
- Free membership for your spouse or partner
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain and inflammation.
NSAIDs often are used to relieve mild to moderate pain for all types of cancer.
This class of drugs eases discomfort by blocking the pathway of an enzyme that creates prostaglandins (hormones that cause pain and swelling). By doing so, the drugs lessen the pain in different parts of the body.
Some of the NSAIDs used in cancer treatment include: ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Rufen, Nuprin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox, Aleve), nabumetone (Relafen), ketorolac, sulindac and diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren). The class of drugs known as Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors that emerged in the late 1990s for dealing with arthritis pain, such as the brand names Celebrex and Vioxx, is also considered part of the group of NSAIDS.
If NSAIDs are not strong enough to keep a cancer patient comfortable, physicians often will combine them with opioids, such as codeine. In later stages, doctors also may combine NSAIDs with stronger pain killers, such as morphine, to treat very severe pain.
Patients typically take NSAIDs on an as-needed basis. Doses vary depending on the type of NSAID being
People who take NSAIDs should notify their doctor before having surgery or dental work, since these drugs can prevent wounds from healing properly.
Author Info: Melissa Knopper M.S., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer, 2002This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
Member access to health and insurance products and services at AARPhealthcare.com.
Members can get an instant quote with AARP® Dental Insurance administered by Delta Dental Insurance Company.
Members can save on eyewear with AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed.
Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.