Anti-inflammatories, non-steroidal - Alternatives to NSAIDs

If you have been advised not to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a number of alternative treatments can be used.

Alternatives for some of the most common conditions treated with NSAIDs are listed below.

Pain

If you need medication to treat pain, paracetamol can be used in almost all cases. An exception to this would be in cases of severe liver disease where lower doses must be used because paracetamol in full doses can damage the liver.

You should seek advice from a pain specialist before taking painkillers other than NSAIDs, paracetamol or aspirin.

There are also a number of non-drug-based treatments for pain, such as:

Gout

If you have gout, a medication called colchicine, or oral steroids are an effective alternative to using an NSAID.

Osteoarthritis

Alternative treatments for osteoarthritis include:

  • codeine – a mild opiate-based painkiller
  • capsaicin cream – which helps block the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain
  • corticosteroid injections – these help to reduce the symptoms of acute pain and swelling
  • surgery – such as a hip replacement or knee replacement

Rheumatoid arthritis

Alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • codeine – a mild opiate-based painkiller
  • oral corticosteroids are occasionally used
  • corticosteroid injections– these help to reduce the symptoms of pain and swelling
  • disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) – a type of medication that can help to ease symptoms and slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis
  • biological treatments – newer medications such as TNF-alpha inhibitors which work by stopping particular chemicals in the blood from activating your immune system

Find this article useful?

Why not sign up to our mailing list and receive regular articles and tips about IBD to your inbox?

Find this article useful?

Why not sign up to our mailing list and receive regular articles and tips about IBD to your inbox?