Skip to main content

What is Nimesulide used for?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 21, 2022.

Official answer


Nimesulide is used to treat pain, inflammation and fever. It is classified as a cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor (COX-2) selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Nimesulide is not approved for use in the U.S. due to concerns about the risk of serious liver toxicity. Nimesulide has been withdrawn from the market in many countries due to these safety concerns.

In countries where nimesulide is approved for human use, it may be used to treat conditions such as acute pain, osteoarthritis and primary dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain) in adolescents and adults above 12 years old. In some countries, this medicine may only be approved for veterinary use.

Is nimesulide approved in the U.S?

No. In the U.S. the only approved COX-2 inhibitor is celecoxib (Celebrex, Elyxyb). Rofecoxib was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2004 and valdecoxib in 2005 due to safety issues that included an increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Nimesulide dosage forms include capsules, tablets, topical gels, topical spray, suppositories and powder or granules for oral suspension. It has been found in combination with capsaicin, lidocaine, or thiocolchicoside for topical use as an anti-inflammatory.

Is nimesulide approved in Europe?

Yes. According to The European Medicines Agency (EMA), a safety review found the benefits of systemic nimesulide continue to outweigh its risks but that its use should be restricted to the treatment of acute pain and primary dysmenorrhea. However, length of use was restricted to two weeks and as a second line treatment. EMA guidelines state it should not be used for the treatment of painful osteoarthritis, a chronic, long-term condition, due to higher risk for liver toxicity.

How does nimesulide work?

Nimesulide works by specifically targeting and blocking COX-2 enzymes, which are mediators of inflammation and pain. By targeting COX-2 enzymes, there are fewer stomach side effects like bleeding or ulceration, although these side effects may still occur. In addition, all NSAIDs are associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

What are the brand names for nimesulide?

There are many reported brand names for nimesulide, some of which may no longer be marketed. Some brands names include:

  • Ainex - Venezuela
  • Aulin - various countries, including: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Venezuela
  • Eskaflam - Mexico
  • Emulid - Turkey
  • Mesulid - Greece, Hungary, Israel,
  • Nilsid - Egypt
  • Nimalox - Egypt
  • Nimed - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Portugal, Slovakia, Taiwan
  • Nimes - Turkey
  • Nise - Peru, Russian Federation
  • Sulide - Egypt
  • Ventor - Bosnia & Herzegowina, Greece, Macedonia
  • Xilox - Hungary

Synonyms for nimesulide include:

  • Nimesulidum (Latin)
  • Nimesulid (German)
  • Nimésulide (French)
  • Nimesulida (Spanish)

In the European Union, nimesulide is available in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, according to the European Medicines Agency.

Products may not always be reliable, safe or available in every foreign country listed. Some products may have been discontinued by foreign manufacturers, and this list may be incomplete. Use extreme caution if you are purchasing any medicine over the Internet, either domestic or international.

This is not all the information you need to know about nimesulide for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information from the country of origin and discuss its use with your health care provider before you take it. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product.


Related medical questions

Related support groups

  • Pain (2,113 questions, 11,756 members)