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Are Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relievers Safe for You?

Here's help weighing the benefits and risks of NSAIDs, from aspirin to Celebrex

Take Charge of Your Treatment

The important thing is to be an active patient. Don't ignore the risks of painkillers, but don't ignore your pain either. Certainly, never try to treat chronic pain on your own.

"Being on an NSAID on a long-term basis is an important decision," Zashin tells WebMD. "So don't be reticent about discussing the pros and cons with your physician. If you're prescribed one medicine, ask why your doctor chose that one and not another. Ask about your options."

You and your doctor need to collaborate, he says. You both need to decide which medicine poses the lowest risks and provides the greatest benefits for you.

Remember, effective pain relief is not easy to achieve. If you suffer chronic pain, you may want to get a referral to a pain specialist, says Goldberg. And it's important to keep in mind that that some pain can't be taken away.

"Sometimes, being absolutely pain free just isn't a realistic goal," says Zashin. "But if you work with your doctor, we can at least try to get to the point where pain doesn't interfere with your daily life."

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Reviewed on August 01, 2006

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