Inflammation is a complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators with the aim of eliminating the initial cause of cell injury, clearing out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and initiating tissue repair. The term anti-inflammatory refers to the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation or swelling. Anti-inflammatory agents can be classified into nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are medications providing analgesic and antipyretic effects, and corticosteroids, which are steroids that suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation. Other classes of anti-inflammatory agents include anti-inflammatory cytokines and monoclonal antibodies designed to target specific inflammatory pathways. These agents work through various mechanisms to inhibit the components of the inflammatory process, such as by blocking the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting specific enzymes involved in the inflammatory cascade, or by modulating the activity of immune cells. The use of anti-inflammatory agents is common in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including acute conditions like sports injuries, as well as chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. The effectiveness of anti-inflammatory treatments depends on the underlying cause of inflammation, the specific drug’s mechanism of action, and the individual patient’s response. Despite their therapeutic benefits, anti-inflammatory medications can have side effects, and their use must be carefully managed, especially when used long-term.
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