Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very commonly used medications. They work by blocking certain enzymes that produce prostaglandins—chemicals produced by the body that promote pain, inflammation, and fever.
NSAIDs are widely available. They are preferred over other pain relief medications because they do not tend to be addictive and, in most cases, do not produce the sedative effects that other pain medications do. People differ in their sensitivity to NSAIDs, however, and some people may find that they contribute to their fatigue, especially at higher doses.
Many people with MS take NSAIDs when they experience a new symptom, hoping that it will help. If you tend to do this, it is important to see your doctor before launching on a self-treatment regimen.
Many MS symptoms do not respond to NSAIDs at all, as they are neuropathic (caused by damage to the nerves themselves) in origin and not caused by prostaglandins.
NSAIDs, though, are successfully and appropriately used by many people with MS. For example, they can be used to:
to help counter the flu-like side effects of the interferon-based disease-modifying therapies (Avonex, Rebif, and Betaseron)
reduce swelling from Copaxone-related injection site reactions
counter side effects from other medications
bring down fevers that tend to worsen MS symptoms or even lead to relapses.
Also, let’s face it, most of us get headaches, from time to time, most of which respond to normal doses of NSAIDs.
The bottom line here is that it is okay to use NSAIDs if you have MS. Just make sure that they are really appropriate for the problem that you are trying to address and watch for any signs that they may be making your fatigue worse.