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Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs: Actions and Effects - Essay Example

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A non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug is a drug classification that is with specific effects…
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Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs: Actions and Effects

Download file to see previous pages... NSAIDs also reduce clotting action specifically aspirin, an NSAID. These are commonly used to treat mild to moderate pain such as headaches and menstrual cramps and it is also given to patients with fever and minor inflammation. Not just that, it is also a mild pain reliever, and with this they not only attack pain but the source of pain as well as it is said to be anti inflammatory. As these are the main benefits of NSAIDS, they also offer other health benefits. The use of NSAIDs in minimal doses may also help prevent heart attack and stroke. With the Aspirin having that effect on clotting, they may be helpful in those patients with heart ailments such as ischemia.

When we say that NSAIDs are anti inflammatory, they act on the inflammation process in the body. When there is a trauma to the body, say for example a cut, prostaglandins are produced by the cells and they will be directed to the site of the trauma. They promote inflammation, pain, and fever if there is infection. These prostaglandins are produced within the body cells by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (Cox). There are two Cox enzymes, Cox-1 and Cox-2, both enzymes produce prostaglandins that promote inflammation, pain and fever. NSAIDs block the Cox enzymes and reduce prostaglandins in the body. As an effect ongoing inflammation, pain, and fever are reduced.
As NSAIDs have an effect on the inflammation process it also has effects on pain management but only limited from mild to moderate pain. So how is this so? Inflammation on the first place occurs when there is acute soft tissue injury which then causes these damage cells to release chemicals that causes vasodilation and extravasation which are responsible for inflammation and pain. And since NSAIDs act on these actions, they would help in reducing pain by first reducing what caused that pain. For example, pain is caused by the inflammation, NSAIDs would act first on the inflammation process before it would reduces pain. However the study cited warns that NSAIDs should only be used on the early stages of inflammation and should be stopped as soon as possible since NSAIDs may only act on the early stages of inflammation (Dunitz, M. 2001).
What now could be the effect of NSAIDs in fever In one research, in the pathogenesis of systemic inflammation and fever, signals can be transmitted through humoral and neural routes. Neural routes can be through chemo sensitive afferent fibers of the abdominal vagus and that the study concluded that capsaicin-sensitive fibers traveling within the hepatic vagal branch constitute a necessary component of the afferent mechanism of the febrile response to low, but not high, doses of circulating pyrogens. We speculate that this mechanism is triggered by blood-borne prostaglandins of the E series (Romanovsky, A. et.al, 2000). And as it is worked about by prostaglandins, and since prostaglandins are the main target of NSAIDs, it then helps the body to recuperate from fever.
But as the effect of prostaglandin in the body is affected by NSAIDs, they also have effects which are not beneficial to the body. These effects are then what we call the side effects. The most common side effects of NSAIDs are the following, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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