Medical Essay on Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

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Middlebury College
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The process of pain evaluation and its control is a critical challenge that all healthcare providers encounter (Chau, Walker, Pai,& Cho, 2008). Pain management for the elderly is a significant problem considering their pharmacology, psychology, and physiological aspects when caring for the geriatric clients. Non-steroid Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADIs), is one of analgesic medications that can be accessed over the counter and used by a geriatric patient for management of pain from various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (Laar, Pergolizzi, Mellinghoff, Merchante, Nalamachu, O'Brien, & Raffa, 2012). Despite their safety in treating such related pain, its the providers role to determine the need for NSADIs and management of the side effects.

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Types and varieties of NSADIs

There are various classes of NSADIs which acetic acids, fenamates, oxicam derivatives, cox-2-inhibitors, propionic acids, and salicylates. Aspirin falls in the category of salicylates. They NSADIs can be administered through various routes such as topical and orally. Aspirin is administered through the oral route for pain management.


Different types NSADIs have different active ingredients that enhance their effectiveness. For instance, Aspirin and Diclofenac active ingredients are Nurofen and Voltaren respectively.

The critical information that you need to know about this OTC drug to make safe and effective clinical decisions.

Various risks are associated with a careless use of NSADIs as a pain reliever and more sore for people who have attained the age of 65 and over. The geriatric patient should consult their physicals to inform them of the side effects of taking NSADIs. For instance, the patients need to understand that taking NSADIs and corticosteroids concurrently can lead to adverse effects and should be stopped. Older adults suffering from high blood pressure, gastric ulcer, and kidney damage should avoid the NSADIs, since they may experience adverse effects. When taking NSADIs, it is advisable that the taking of alcohol be stopped to the medication to be effective. Just like other drugs, the NSADIs should not be taken more than the recommended dose.

The Beers Criteria.

The criteria provide the guidelines required by the healthcare professionals to be able to administer the appropriate type and quantity of prescription drugs, in this context the opiates. The criteria have three essential principles which include; the closer monitoring of the administered drug is recommended to ensure it serves the intended purpose (Campanelli, 2012). When the prescription is done online, it should happen in the real time to address the ongoing problem, to prevent the adverse effects on the elderly patients. The last one is a better outcome for the patient upon the use of the drug. This way the provider and the patient will ensure that the administered Non-steroid Anti-inflammatory drug relieves the pain as expected. The taking of other medications that contain NSADIs should be avoided, for instance; a patient should not consume Aspirin and Ibuprofen at the same time.

The education for elders about the OTC drug

The elderly patients should understand that there are different types of pain and a comprehensive evaluation and examination, should be considered to determine the kind of a pain to also guide the intervention measures (Kaye, Baluch, & Scott, 2010). Studies have revealed a misreporting of pain among the elderly which affect the treatment. The older people believe pain is a part of aging process, which can be handled using any over the counter medication for pain. This makes it essential for a prior evaluation and examination before drug administration.


Chau, D. L., Walker, V., Pai, L., & Cho, L. M. (2008). Opiates and elderly: use and side effects. Clinical interventions in aging, 3(2), 273.

Campanelli, C. M. (2012). American Geriatrics Society updated Beers criteria for potentiallyinappropriate medication use in older adults: the American Geriatrics Society 2012 Beers Criteria Update Expert Panel. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(4), 616.

Kaye, A. D., Baluch, A., & Scott, J. T. (2010). Pain management in the elderly population: a review. The Ochsner Journal, 10(3), 179-187.

Laar, M. V. D., Pergolizzi, J. V., Mellinghoff, H. U., Merchante, I. M., Nalamachu, S., O'Brien, J., ... & Raffa, R. B. (2012). Pain treatment for arthritis-related pain: beyond NSAIDs. Theopen rheumatology journal, 6(1).

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