Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are often used to reduce pain
and inflammation in patients who have
mild systemic lupus erythematosus
(SLE). Many different types of NSAIDs
exist, some of which you can buy
without a doctor’s prescription. These
are called “over-the-counter” drugs.
Examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs
include aspirin, Motrin® IB1, Orudis
KT®, and Aleve®. Tylenol® is not an
NSAID and is not used to reduce the
inflammation of lupus.
Although all NSAIDs appear to work
in the same way, there are differences
among them. Not every NSAID has the
same effect on every person. Also, you
may find that one NSAID works well for
a while, then for some unknown reason,
it doesn’t work well any more. Your
doctor will probably switch you to a
different NSAID to get the same helpful
effects you had with the first one.
The brand name of your NSAID is
The strength or dose of the NSAID
ordered for you is __________________ .
Take the NSAID ______ time(s) per day.
The best time(s) to take your NSAID:
Additional instructions: ______________
1 Brand names included here and in this book are provided as examples only, and their
inclusion does not mean that these products are endorsed by the National Institutes of
Health or any other Government agency. Also, if a particular brand name is not mentioned,
this does not mean or imply that the product is unsatisfactory.
Possible Side Effects
These include upset stomach,
headache, ringing in the ears,
dizziness, rash, itching, easy bruising,
fluid retention, and blood in the stool.
You may use NSAIDs cautiously
during pregnancy, but do not take
them during the first 3 months
of your pregnancy or just before
delivery. NSAIDs appear in breast
milk and should be used cautiously if
you are breastfeeding.
Some patients taking NSAIDs
become more sensitive to sunlight.
Use sunblock and protective
clothing; avoid exposure to sunlight.
Do not take more than the
Do not take NSAIDs with other
drugs, including over-the-counter
medications, without first checking
with your nurse or doctor. Over-the
counter medications are medications
that you can buy without a doctor’s
Recent studies of a couple of
NSAIDs have suggested an
increased risk of cardiovascular
problems in people taking them on
a long-term basis. As with any drug,
it’s important to weigh the benefits
against the potential risk of side
Tell any nurse, doctor, or dentist
who is taking care of you that you
are taking NSAIDs for your lupus.
Since NSAIDs can cause stomach
and intestinal upset and irritation,
take them with food or after meals.
You should also avoid alcoholic
beverages, because alcohol can
aggravate these stomach and
intestinal problems. Check with your
doctor for guidance on these issues
Source: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Dept of Health and Human Services