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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs

Taking ibuprofen and related over-the-counter painkillers could have unintended and worrisome consequences for people who vigorously exercise. These popular medicines, known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, work by suppressing inflammation.

But according to two new studies, in the process they potentially may also overtax the kidneys during prolonged exercise and reduce muscles' ability to recover afterward.

NSAIDs work, in part, by blunting the body's production of a particular group of biochemicals, called prostaglandins, that otherwise flood the site of injuries in the body. There, they jump-start processes contributing to pain and inflammation. Prostaglandins also prompt blood vessels to dilate, or widen, increasing blood flow to the affected area.

Taking NSAIDs results in fewer prostaglandins and consequently less inflammation and less dilation of blood vessels.


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