Healthy Living

Laryngitis: How Can a Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Help Me?

Laryngitis: How Can a Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Help Me?

Laryngitis is a condition in which the larynx (voice box) and the vocal cords become inflamed.

Conventional Laryngitis Treatments

Laryngitis can sometimes be treated at home by drinking lots of fluids, resting your voice, breathing humidified air, and sucking on lozenges. Refraining from consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic drinks and use of decongestants is also important for patients who have laryngitis. Whispering should be avoided as well, because it strains the voice even more than normal talking. Laryngitis patients should avoid smoky areas and/or quit smoking. Those who have laryngitis can treat their pain and inflammation with ibuprofen. However, antibiotics are not effective for this condition, because it is caused by a viral infection. Corticosteroids may be recommended if urgent treatment is required to reduce the inflammation of the vocal cords. Acid reflux drugs may be prescribed if GERD is the culprit behind a case of laryngitis.

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You should visit your doctor if your laryngitis lasts for more than two weeks. If a patient has an obstructed airway as a result of laryngitis, it is important to visit a doctor immediately. Look out for the following symptoms that can be related to laryngitis:

 Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Also known as NSAIDs, these drugs are mostly used in reducing fever, minimizing inflammation, and relieving pain.

NSAIDs are frequently used to relieve pain from sprains and strains, painful periods, headaches, flu and colds, arthritis, and laryngitis.

Though they have a wide variety of uses, NSAIDs may not suit all people and can lead to negative side effects. 

Types of NSAIDs

NSAIDs are available as capsules, tablets, injections, cream gels, and suppositories. Some drugs in this category may require a prescription, while others can be bought over-the-counter.

The main types include:

  • Diclofenac
  • Indometacin
  • Mefenamic acid
  • Celecoxib
  • Ibuprofen
  • High doses of aspirin
  • Naproxen
  • Etoricoxib

For the most part, all NSAIDs are equally effective, so individuals should choose the type that is best for them. Some of these drugs are listed under a brand name as well as the names above.

How do NSAIDs Work?

NSAIDs relieve pain and inflammation by obstructing certain proteins and enzymes. NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen obstruct a protein known as prostaglandin that worsens heavy menstrual bleeding. This protein cannot be blocked by aspirin, however.

NSAIDs Side Effects

Side effects can occur with all drugs, although the majority of people do not experience them or have the ability to cope with them. You should always learn about the side effects of drugs from your pharmacist before taking them. You can usually find the side effects listed on the container of medicine as well.

When thinking about taking NSAIDs for laryngitis, it is important to consider the following:

  • The benefits of the drug often outweigh the side effects
  • After you have taken the drug for some time, any side effects you have experienced may even disappear
  • You should always call your doctor if your side effects trouble you and you are unsure about continuing using the medication. They may change the drug that you are prescribed or lower the current dose. Even with severe side effects, you should not stop taking the drug unless your doctor advises you to do so.

Call for emergency services immediately if you have the following symptoms:

  • Swollen throat, face, tongue and lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Signs of a stroke or a heart attack

Visit your primary physician if you have the following:

The common side effects of NSAIDs are: