For acute pain caused by arthritis, a center for pain management may prescribe a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as a COX-2 inhibitor. Not all NSAIDs are prescription drugs, however, and many over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available. Examples include aspirin and ibuprofen.
COX-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex, Vioxx, and Bextra work by targeting the enzyme that stimulates the body’s inflammatory response. Side effects may include nausea, indigestion, and acute abdominal pain. Unlike NSAIDs that target the COX-1 enzyme, COX-2 inhibitors do not provide protection against heart disease.
Some studies indicate that NSAIDs may delay the healing of broken bones. Typically, however, a center for pain management prescribes these prescription drugs for only short-term use after orthopedic surgery.