NSAIDs are among the most widely prescribed and used drugs in the community for rheumatologic as well as non rheumatologic conditions such as acute and chronic pain, dysmenorrhoea, fever, closure of patent ductus arteriosus in infants, cancer pain and other applications based on the suppression of prostaglandin synthesis performed by the cyclooxigenase enzyme. The use of traditional NSAIDs is often and long term complicated by the onset of side effects mainly by gastric toxicity, which has, in the past, heavily limited the chronic management of these drugs. However the discovery of new NSAIDs able to inhibit selectively the COX-2 enzyme, which probably is more related to inflammation, has opened a new field of research and application. The aim of this review is to visit the molecular mechanisms of NSAIDs action.
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