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NSAIDs: ENdocannabinoid Stimulating Anti-inflammatory Drugs?

C. Fowler
Published 2012 · Medicine

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Read any pharmacology textbook and the message is clear: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act by inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) and thereby the production of prostaglandins. However, evidence is accumulating that NSAIDs involve the endocannabinoid system in their actions, and that such effects may pave the way towards the design of new analgesics that are not plagued with the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse actions that are associated with this class of drugs. In this Opinion article, our current understanding of the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the actions of NSAIDs is described, and the ways in which this can lead to novel drug development is discussed.
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