Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most widely used medicines for relief of pain. These drugs have some side effects, particularly toxicity in the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Various approaches have been used for obtaining safer anti-inflammatory drugs. In this review we have summarized the recent developments in the following areas; (i) mode of action of NSAIDs (ii) Role of COX-1 & COX-2 in inflammation, (iii) Different approaches used to improve gastric tolerance i.e. chemical manipulation, formulation & co-administration, development of non specific (COX-1 & COX-2 inhibitors) and specific (COX-2 inhibitors) inflammation inhibitors, and development of inflammation inhibitors having a mode of action other than COX-1 & COX-2 inhibition. We have also focused on the safety of COX-2 inhibitors and the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds and their role as inflammation inhibitors.