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Advice from Professional Societies: Appropriate Use of NSAIDs


  • Alexa Simon Meara MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
    2. Internal Medicine Residency, East Carolina University/Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
    • Reprint requests to: Alexa Simon Meara, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology/Immunology, 480 Medical Center Drive, S2056, Columbus OH 43210, USA. Tel: 614-293-6869; Fax: 614-366-0980; E-mail:

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  • Lee S. Simon MD

    1. SDG LLC, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Disclosures: Dr. Meara has nothing to disclose. Dr. Simon is or has been a consultant to Astrazeneca, NuvoResearch, Pfizer, Novartis, PLx Pharma, Hisamatsu, Dr Reddys, Cerimon, Bayer, Nicox, Wyeth, Asahi, Forest, Genzyme, Horizon, Pozen, ILPharma, Kowa, and Imprimis, Bayer Consumer, Sanofi.



Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most commonly used medications due to their well-known analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic actions. Due to their known benefits and inherent risks, there have been multiple guidelines from national professional societies that suggest appropriate use to provide both maximum benefit and mitigate risk of adverse events, particularly in older individuals.


A literature search was undertaken using PubMed and search terms including pain, aging, treatment, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, arthritis, older patient, and guidelines. Practice guideline reviews were conducted from the following sources: American Geriatric Society, American College of Rheumatology, and the European League Against Rheumatism suggesting the appropriate and safer use of NSAIDs, along with references to guidelines product by Osteoarthritis Research International, the American Gastroenterological Association.


Literature-based and professional society guidelines provides clinicians with means optimize efficacy and safety of NSAIDs in clinical practice. Summary recommendations are provided in this review.