Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors or anti-pyrogens have a clear mechanism of action: they inhibit the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase (COX) and thus the synthesis of prostaglandins. In this way the prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors decrease the thermostat set point and control the fever.




Prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors can be divided into subgroups:

  • Salicylates (aspirin)
  • Acetic acids (diclofenac)
  • Propionic acids (ibuprofen)
  • Oxicams (piroxicam)

Click here to find more information on NSAIDs in the pain-chapter.


Prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor treatment is dangerous in the third trimester of pregnancy.


Prostaglandins protect the mucus layer in the stomach.