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Have you ever taken an aspirin purchased from the local drug store when you were experiencing some type of discomfort? Of course you have as many of us have and why shouldn't we?

Anti-inflammatory drugs that are called NSAID's (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) have generally been considered to be both safe and effective in making us feel better.

However, it's not quite as simple. Sometimes, doctors or scientists will change their mind about the health situation as they have done regarding the NSAID substances that were once thought to be safe.

It started with two prescription products called Bextra and Celebrex.

These two prescription drugs were prescribed generally to give individuals healthy feeling joints. But unfortunately, they also caused certain side effects which were quite serious, including the side effect of death.

Here's how these kinds of substances work and why they also will most likely cause problems.

In order for te body to defend itself, a process happens where particular enzymes are needed. They are called Cox 2 enzymes (or cyclooxygenase enzymes). These specific enzymes call the irritating chemicals into being.

Many of the over-the-counter NSAID's are designed to decrease the number of these enzymes which can then reduce the amount of cellular inflammation which occurs.

For example, if your neck is stiff, take a NSAID called a Cox 2 inhibitor and less of the "bad" type of chemicals will form causing that stiff unpleasant feeling.

The problem is, there are side effects that are dangerous. The FDA is certainly concerned and it should be. They want superior labels and warnings on medications and have asked at least one firm to stop selling their medication due to health problems associated with using them.

Side effects may include bleeding in the intestional tract, kidney or liver failure and long term health effects on bone strength, sometimes the thing we really want to protect. Some NSAID's are safer then others and you may find a list at the National Institutes of Health website.

No wonder that health-minded people are turning to natural alternatives to stay healthy.

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