In many countries, OTC or non-prescription drugs are selected by a regulatory agency so as to check the ingredients that are used in the making of drugs are safe and effective when used without a doctor's advise. These non-prescription drugs are usually regulated by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), not final products. This implies that the governments allow drugs manufacturers the right to formulate ingredients, or combinations of ingredients, to make proper medicinal mixtures. Regulations related to who is authorized to dispense these drugs, to where they are to be sold, and whether a prescription is required vary considerably from country to country. In India. all the drugs that are not included in the list of prescription drugs are considered as non-prescription drugs (or OTC drugs).
NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation), analgesic (relieve pain) and antipyretic (lower temperature) effects. Although different NSAIDs have different structures, they all work by blocking cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. There are two main types of COX enzymes: COX-1 and COX-2. Both types produce prostaglandins; however, the main function of COX-1 enzymes is to produce baseline levels of prostaglandins that activate platelets and protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas COX-2 enzymes are responsible for releasing prostaglandins after infection or injury. Prostaglandins have a number of different effects, one of which is to regulate inflammation. Most NSAIDs inhibit both enzymes, although a few are available that mainly inhibit COX-2. The pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs are mainly due to inhibition of COX-2, and their unwanted side effects are largely due to inhibition of COX-1.
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