Anti-inflammatory drugs


Definition


Anti-inflammatory drugs help fight inflammation.
There are two major types of anti-inflammatory drugs:
  • anti-inflammatory steroids (derivatives of cortisol and cortisone):
    • with short-term effects: including prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone,
    • with intermediate effects,
    • with long-term effects : betamethasone, dexamethasone and others;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs, including the most famous: aspirin.

Indications and uses


Anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids have many medical indications and uses, the most important being:
  • in cases of severe inflammation, especially in chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and some severe allergies;
  • immunosuppressive action, which reduces the efficiency of the body's defense against aggression, useful for illnesses of body systems or following an organ transplant to limit rejection by the organism;
  • in addition to certain chemotherapy treatments.

Side effects


Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective, but are not without side effects. The main ones are:
  • skin reactions (skin deterioration or the appearance of acne...);
  • weight gain;
  • higher risk of infections due to a decreased immunity risk;
  • problems with vision (or even the development of cataracts after taking the drugs for several months or years);
  • new or worsening diabetic condition;
  • digestive problems (including ulcers);
  • the appearance or increasing of hypertension;
  • weakening of the bones (osteoporosis);
  • psychiatric problems (hyperarousal and depression) ...

Due to the violent reactions that can be triggered by anti-inflammatory drugs, they must be prescribed by a doctor.

Precautions


Anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken under medical prescription and the patient should follow a few simple rules and precautions. A long-term treatment requires increased surveillance.
  • It is necessary to stick to a low sodium diet and to sometimes take a potassium supplement.
  • When taking anti-inflammatory drugs in the long term, prevent bone loss by taking supplements of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Remain vigilant in case of fever or suspected infection, as anti-inflammatory drugs may cover up fever.
  • If you need to stop the steroid treatment, don't stop immediately, but rather cut the medication out little by little.
Original article published by Jeff. Translated by Jeff. Latest update on June 4, 2013 at 01:38 PM by Jeff.
This document, titled "Anti-inflammatory drugs," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).
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