Anti-inflammatory medicine is taken to subside the effects of an inflammatory reaction of the immune system.
Inflammation is a response of the immune system to fight off infections, irritants, and damaged cells from affecting any other cells. It is the process that triggers the healing process. However, its symptoms can flare and cause problems in an individual. To reduce the effects of these responses, anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed.
Mechanism of Action
Inflammation is caused by the release of certain chemicals such as histamines, bradykinin, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, platelet activating factor and interleukin -1. Drugs such as antihistamines in some way inhibit the synthesis or release of these chemicals by inhibiting a particular reaction in the biochemical pathway. For example, aspirin like drugs inhibit an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase, that is involved in the synthesis of prostanoids, thus acting against inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory Medication List
They are broadly classified into 4 categories.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
- Immune Selective Anti-Inflammatory Derivatives (ImSAID)
These drugs are also called corticosteroids as most of them belong to the glucocorticoid family.
- Prednisone – It blocks allergic reactions and reduces the symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness of skin.
- Dexamethasone – It stimulates the synthesis of certain enzymes that reduce inflammation.
- Hydrocortisone – These are glucocorticoids used to suppress immune system.
These are often prescribed for a short time, as side effects of steroids are quite adverse.
These are analgesic and anti-pyretic drugs, which when used in a higher dose act as anti-inflammatory. They have an eicosanoid depressing mechanism.
- Aspirin – It inhibits the cyclo-oxygenase enzyme and blocks the synthesis of prostanoids.
- Ibuprofen – It also inhibits cyclo oxygenase and therefore an inflammatory response.
- Naproxen – This too has a similar mechanism and is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis as well. It is available over the counter along with ibuprofen and aspirin.
This class of drugs was developed by IMULAN Biotherapeutics. They are peptides which modify the activation of inflammatory cells. A few of these peptides that are discovered are:
- Sub-mandibular gland peptide – T (SGP-T) which regulates immune responses on exposure to an endotoxin.
- Phenylalanine – glutamine – glycine peptide (FEG) which inhibits cell receptors, regulates the leukocytes, and prevents tissue infiltration. It also decreases neutrophils and eosinophil in an immune response.
These drugs are for now being used in treatment of feline and canine health problems related to inflammation.
Many herbs are used as anti-inflammatory agents. They contain active substances that suppress immune responses.
- Arnica Montana – It contains an active immune suppressing agent known as helenalin that acts against inflammation.
- Willow bark – This is said to have salicylic acid that acts in a similar way as aspirin.
There are various other herbs such as turmeric, ginger, and cannabis that have shown these properties.
These medicines also have side effects which you must be aware of before taking them. Apart from the medication mentioned above, there are various diets that you can follow to treat inflammation.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.