There are typically two types of anti-inflammatories: non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids. Both work by reducing inflammation, but they do so in different ways. NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system, which reduces inflammation.
The safest anti-inflammatory is one that works for you and does not cause serious side effects. NSAIDs are generally considered safe, but they can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and other problems in some people. Corticosteroids are also generally considered safe, but they can cause mood swings, weight gain, and other problems. The best way to find the safest anti-inflammatory for you is to talk to your doctor about your options and possible side effects.
Aspirin (full dose)
No more than 4 grams/day in divided doses.
Aspirin is one of the oldest and most well-known drugs in the world. It has been used for centuries to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and fever. Aspirin is a member of the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which also includes ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
While aspirin is generally considered safe, it does have some side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effect of aspirin is gastrointestinal bleeding, which can range from mild to life-threatening. Other potential side effects include ulcers, kidney damage, and allergic reactions.
If you are considering taking aspirin for pain relief or any other reason, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure it is appropriate for you and to determine the best dose.
Celecoxib (used in Celebrex)
One of the main concerns with any NSAID is the potential for gastrointestinal side effects, such as ulcers or bleeding. This is why it’s important to take celecoxib with food and to drink plenty of fluids while you’re taking it. If you experience any stomach pain or discomfort, be sure to let your doctor know.
Another potential concern with celecoxib is the risk for cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke. This risk appears to be higher in people who have preexisting heart conditions or who are taking other medications that can increase their risk for these events. If you have any concerns about your cardiovascular health, be sure to discuss them with your doctor before starting celecoxib.
Overall, celecoxib is a safe and effective medication when used according to directions. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have before starting this or any other medication.
Diclofenac (used in Votaren)
This is an NSAID that is effective in reducing inflammation, pain and swelling. However, it can cause some serious side effects such as kidney damage, gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Therefore, it should be used with caution in people with kidney disease or those taking other medications that can affect the kidneys.
Ibuprofen (used in Motrin): This is another NSAID that can be effective in reducing inflammation, pain and swelling. However, it also comes with some serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Therefore, it should be used with caution in people with a history of gastrointestinal problems or those taking other medications that can affect the digestive system.
Aspirin: This is an NSAID that has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, pain and swelling. However, it also comes with some serious side effects such as increased risk of bleeding. Therefore, it should be used with caution in people who are at risk for bleeding or those taking other medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.
Acetaminophen (used in Tylenol): This is a pain reliever that can also reduce fever. It does not have any anti-inflammatory properties but it is generally safe when used as directed. However, acetaminophen can cause liver damage if taken in large doses so it should be used with caution in people with liver disease or those taking other medications that can affect the liver.