What Are the Different Types of Anti-Inflammatory Analgesics?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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Anti-inflammatory analgesics are pain medications that also reduce swelling and irritation of the various tissues of the body. Some of these medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, can be purchased without a prescription. Other anti-inflammatory analgesics, including celecoxib, ketoprofen, and ketorolac tromethamine, must be prescribed by a physician. A doctor should be consulted before taking anti-inflammatory analgesics to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions or medication interactions that could affect the safety of these drugs.

Aspirin and ibuprofen are considered to be the most popular anti-inflammatory analgesics and are available at most drugstores and supermarkets without a prescription. These medications are thought to be so effective that they are also available in stronger prescription dosages and may be combined with other over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Products containing aspirin are not recommended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding due to the possible development of a severe medical condition known as Reye's syndrome.

Naproxen sodium is marketed in both over-the-counter and prescription formulations and is thought to be most beneficial for those who suffer from chronic back pain. As is the case with all anti-inflammatory analgesics, this medication is known to thin the blood and may not be appropriate for people who have high blood pressure or bleeding disorders. These drugs are processed by the kidneys and may not be safe for those who suffer from chronic kidney disease or renal failure.


Celecoxib and ketoprofen are prescription-strength anti-inflammatory analgesics and may be used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Benefits of celecoxib include less stomach upset and fewer bleeding risks than many other medications in this category. Ketoprofen is available as an extended-release capsule, helping the body maintain consistent levels of the medication and is typically prescribed for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or lupus.

Ketorolac tromethamine is designed for short-term pain relief and is often used in the form of an injection in a hospital setting. This drug may also be administered orally or in the form of eye drops or nasal spray in certain situations. Unlike other anti-inflammatory analgesics, this medication is not used to treat chronic pain. Potential side effects of ketorolac tromethamine include kidney failure, intestinal perforation, or allergic reactions. Women who are pregnant should notify their doctor before using this medication, as studies have shown potential toxic effects on the developing fetus.



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