How to alternate the use of various NSAIDs


NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs. These medications reduce inflammation, pain and fever.If you take the same NSAID all time, it will become less effective. The drugs in this classification work best if alternated.

Things You'll Need

  • Notebook
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

How to Alternate the Use of Various NSAIDs

  • Use a notebook to record each medication you take. Include the drug, date, time and dose. This will help you with your records as well as provide vital information for your physician during check-ups or appointments.

  • If you have chronic pain and require medication everyday, switch NSAIDs every two days. This will prevent your body from building resistance to the medications. If you do not have chronic pain and only take NSAIDs occasionally, switch NSAIDs every two weeks.

  • Aspirin is an NSAID that also has heart benefits and blood-thinning properties. Check with your physician before starting an aspirin regime. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you may take 500 mg every eight hours, not to exceed 1000 mg in a 24 hour period. To prevent gastrointestinal damage, do not mix aspirin with another NSAID .

  • After taking aspirin for two days, switch to ibuprofen. According to the FDA, you may take 800 mg of Ibuprofen every six hoursto a maximum of 3200 mg in a 24-hour period.

  • After taking ibuprofen for two days, switch to naproxen. The FDA says you may take 200 mg of Naproxen every six hours, up to 1000 mg in a 24-hour period.

  • If your pain is still not relieved by alternating NSAIDs, schedule an appointment with your physician and show him your notebook with your dosing history.

Tips & Warnings

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are available as over the counter medications. Deveral NSAIDs are available only by prescription, and your physician may order these for you if your pain is not relieved. If you have further questions, your pharmacist can help you in customize a medication regime specialized to your condition.
  • Do not take more than one NSAID at a time, as this can cause severe gastrointestinal damage, overdose or death. If you exceed any of the daily maximum dosages, get emergency medical care immediately.

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