What Are NSAIDs?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a type of medicine commonly taken to relieve pain or to reduce fever or inflammation.

  • Inflammation is when a part of your body is swollen, red, hot, hurting, and/or difficult to move

While you may not know the word NSAID, you’re probably familiar with some of the NSAID brands, such as:

  • Advil® (ibuprofen)
  • Motrin® (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve® (ibuprofen)

Generics like ibuprofen or naproxen are also considered NSAIDs.

NSAIDs are available as either a prescription from your health care provider or over the counter (OTC), which means that you do not need a prescription to take them.

There are also medications that are combined with an NSAID. If you take multiple OTC NSAIDs at the same time, or an OTC NSAID and a prescription NSAID at the same time, you may increase your chance of side effects.1


  1. Wilcox CM, Cryer B, Triadafilopoulos G. Patterns of use and public perception of over-the-counter pain relievers: focus on nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. J Rheumatol. 2005;32:2218-2224.
  2. IMS 2012.
Advil is a trademark of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.
Motrin is a trademark of McNeil-PPC, Inc.
Aleve is a trademark of Bayer Healthcare LLC.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not replace the care of your health care provider.
Talk to your health care provider before you stop taking or change your medication.