Reducing Inflammation with Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs

Some individuals with fibromyalgia get significant pain relief by taking prescribed or over-the-counter doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most commonly used drugs in this category are Naprosyn (generic name: naproxen sodium), Feldene (generic name: piroxicam), Motrin (ibuprofen), and Relafen (generic name: nabumetone).

Some patients with fibromyalgia have also benefited from one of the more recently introduced NSAIDs, which are called COX-2 inhibitors. Celebrex (generic name: celecoxib) and Mobic (meloxicam) are medications in this category. Note that other NSAIDs in the same class of medications as Celebrex, such as Vioxx (generic name: rofecoxib) and Bextra (generic name: valde-coxib), have been withdrawn from the market by their manufacturers because of a possible risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly heart attacks. You can't get Vioxx or Bextra, but as of this writing, Celebrex and Mobic are still options.

Celebrex and Mobic have the capability to reduce pain as well as stiffness and inflammation, and when you have fibromyalgia, a drug that can attack all these problems is certainly worthy of consideration. However, individuals who are allergic to sulfa drugs (such as the antibiotic Septra) should not take Celebrex.

NSAIDs generally are taken by fibromyalgia sufferers on a daily basis to combat chronic pain, and they can be moderately effective. The primary drawback to NSAID medications is that they can cause gastrointestinal upset, which can sometimes be severe. For this reason, they should always be taken with meals, and NSAIDs should never be taken on an empty stomach. In some cases, NSAIDs can cause ulcers. Anyone who's experiencing severe abdominal pain should stop taking her NSAID medication immediately and should consult with her physician. Other side effects of NSAIDs may include rashes, rapid heartbeat, stuffy nose, blurred vision, and lightheadedness.

Some people take over-the-counter medications, such as Tums or Rolaids, along with their NSAID medication, to prevent stomach upset. Others make sure that they only take the medication with food, and that action alone is enough to alleviate the gastrointestinal distress that would occur if they took the medication on an empty stomach. Celebrex is generally less likely to cause gastrointestinal problems and is designed to be gentler on your stomach. However, some individuals who take Celebrex still develop gastrointestinal symptoms.

Many physicians recommend that Celebrex and Mobic be taken with meals — even though you may not be given these instructions on your prescription bottle — as you usually would with other prescribed NSAIDs. (Doctors like to be extra careful.)

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