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Merck Manual

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Overview of Anti-inflammatory Agents

By

Scott H. Edwards

, BSc, BVMS, PhD, MANZCVSc, Charles Sturt University

Last full review/revision Apr 2014 | Content last modified May 2014

Inflammation is the complex pathophysiologic response of vascularized tissue to injury. The injury may result from various stimuli, including thermal, chemical, or physical damage; ischemia; infectious agents; antigen-antibody interactions; and other biologic processes. After tissue injury, the process of tissue healing includes three distinct phases: an inflammatory phase, a repair phase, and a remodeling phase. The desired outcome of the inflammatory response is isolation and elimination of the injurious agent to prepare for the repair of tissue damage at the site of injury and restoration of function. Finally, new tissue formed during the repair phase (eg, scar tissue) may be remodeled over several months.

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