Author Affiliations: Medical Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most widely
used therapeutic agents today, with nearly $2 billion spent in the United
States yearly on prescription NSAIDs alone.1
By inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) and decreasing prostaglandin
synthesis, these agents provide effective analgesia and suppress inflammation.
Most NSAIDs (nonselective) inhibit not only prostaglandins at sites of inflammation
but also prostaglandins that serve important functions in other parts of the
body. This inhibition may be beneficial when, for example, these drugs are
prescribed to impair normal platelet function to prevent cardiovascular events.
Peterson WL, Cryer B. COX-1–Sparing NSAIDs—Is the Enthusiasm Justified?. JAMA. 1999;282(20):1961-1963. doi:10.1001/jama.282.20.1961