What Are NSAIDs?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used pain relievers. There are various NSAIDs you can get as a prescription from your health care provider. Some are also available “over the counter” or OTC, which means that you do not need a prescription to take them.

While you may not know the word NSAID, you probably know some OTC NSAIDs better by their generic and brand names such as:

  • Ibuprofen, which is sold OTC under the brand names Motrin® and Advil®
  • Naproxen Sodium (sometimes called Naproxen) which is sold OTC under the brand name Aleve®
  • Aspirin is also an NSAID

There are also other medications which may contain an NSAID. NSAIDs can provide effective relief but, if not taken correctly – at too high a dose, for too long, or in combination with one another, you may increase your chance of side effects and may adversely affect your kidneys, heart and digestive system.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.