Anti-inflammatory medications - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Selected Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include:

  • Diclofenac (Cataflam oral, Solaraze topical, Voltaren Ophthalmic, Voltaren oral, and Voltaren-XR oral)
  • Diflunisal (Dolobid)
  • Etodolac (Lodine and Lodine XL)
  • Fenoprofen (Nalfon)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil Migraine Liqui-Gels[OTC], Advil[OTC], Children's Advil Oral Suspension[OTC], Children's Motrin Oral Suspension[OTC], Genpril[OTC], Haltran[OTC], Junior Strength Motrin[OTC], Menadol[OTC], Midol IB[OTC], Motrin, Motrin IB [OTC], Motrin Migraine Pain[OTC], and Nuprin[OTC])
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Ketoprofen (Orudis and Oruvail)
  • Meclofenamate (Meclomen)
  • Nabumetone (Relafen)
  • Naproxen (Aleve[OTC], Anaprox, EC Naprosyn, Naprelan, and Naprosyn)
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • Piroxicam (Feldene)
  • Sulindac (Clinoril)
  • Tolmetin (Tolectin and Tolectin DS)



Your body needs iron for red blood cells to carry oxygen to all your organs and tissues. Low levels of iron can cause anemia and weaken the immune system. Symptoms of anemia include:

  • Being tired all the time
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Irregular heartbeat

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Low levels of folic acid have been linked to:

  • Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • Birth defects
  • Colon cancer

Symptoms may include fatigue, mouth sores, swollen tongue, depression, and poor growth.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Low levels of vitamin C can cause your gums to bleed and your skin to bruise easily. Other symptoms include:

  • Wounds that are slow to heal
  • Dry hair
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Dry and rough skin

In severe cases, vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, a life-threatening condition that affects muscles and bones. Scurvy is rare, however, because it is easy to get enough vitamin C in your diet.


Signs and symptoms of low levels of zinc include:

  • Loss of appetite or sense of taste
  • Weakened immune system
  • Slow growth
  • Skin changes
  • Being more susceptible to infection

Editorial Note

The selected depletions information presented here identifies some of the nutrients that may be depleted by certain medications. If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms mentioned, it does not necessarily mean that you are nutrient deficient. Nutrient depletion depends upon a number of factors, including your:

  • Medical history
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

As well as the length of time you have been taking the medication. Please consult your health care provider. They can best assess your individual health care needs and determine if you are at risk for nutrient depletions from these medications, as well as others not listed here.

Supporting Research

Acuna-Castroviejo D, Escames G, Rodriguez MI, Lopez LC. Melatonin role in the mitochondrial function. Front Biosci. 2007;12:947-63.

Agarwal R. Nonhematological benefits of iron. Am J Nephrol. 2007;27(6):565-71.

Altun A, Ugur-Altun B. Melatonin: therapeutic and clinical utilization. Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(5):835-45.

Ames BN. Micronutrient deficiencies: A major cause of DNA damage. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2000;889:87-106.

Chen JY, Chang CY, Lan KM, Sheu MJ, Lu CL, Hu ML. Is peptic ulcer disease a risk factor of postherpetic neuralgia in patients with herpes zoster? Med Hypotheses. 2013;81(5):834-8.

Hambidge M. Human zinc deficiency. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1344S-1349S.

Lewy AJ, Emens J, Jackman A, Yuhas K. Circadian uses of melatonin in humans. Chronobiol Int. 2006;23(1-2):403-12.

Maret W, Sandstead HH. Zinc requirements and the risks and benefits of zinc supplementation. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2006;20(1):3-18.

Moretti R, Torre P, Antonello RM, Cazzato G, Cattaruzza T, Scapicchio PL. Vitamin B12 and folate depletion: clinical evidence in a neurological population. Neurologist. 2004;10(6):338-43.

Pelton R, LaValle J, Hawkins EB, et al. Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. Hudson, OH: LexiComp, Inc.;2001:425-427.

Piccirillo JF. Melatonin. Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:331-3.

Powell SR. The antioxidant properties of zinc. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1447S-54S.

Reiter RJ. Melatonin: clinical relevance. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;17(2):273-85.

Schoultz I, McKay CM, Graepel R, Phan VC, Wang A, Soderholm J, McKay DM. Indomethacin-induced translocation of bacteria across enteric epithelia is reactive oxygen species-dependent and reduced by vitamin C. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012;303(5):G536-45.

Tubek S, Grzanka P, Tubek I. Role of Zinc in Hemostasis: A Review. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].

Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH. Contribution of selected vitamins and trace elements to immune function. Ann Nutr Metab. 2007;51(4):301-23.

Zimmermann MB, Hurrell RF. Nutritional iron deficiency. Lancet. 2007;370(9586):511-20.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 9/21/2014
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.