Over-the-counter Arthritis Drugs

best over the counter arthritis drugs

Daily Arthritis Pain

For the 50 million Americans dealing with arthritis, pain is a daily incident. Damaged joints make every movement, from flexing to lifting, achy and uneasy. Pain relief is the goal of arthritis treatment. Though there are many methods to deal with arthritis discomfort– from exercise to surgery– over the counter drugs are among the most common treatments, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Best OTC (Over-the-counter) Arthritis Drugs Review

NSAIDs: How They Work

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most popular drugs for dealing with arthritis pain. NSAIDs consist of ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Alleve, Naprosyn), and aspirin. They work by decreasing the production of compounds called prostaglandins, which cause pain and swelling in the body. NSAIDs have a double action; they not just ease pain, but they lower swelling in the joints, too.


Prostaglandins do more than cause pain. They likewise act to safeguard the stomach lining against damage by severe stomach acids. By lowering prostaglandins in the body, NSAIDs can leave the stomach susceptible to acids, leading to ulcers and stomach bleeding. They can likewise increase the risk for embolism, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. If you have a history of stomach ulcers and/or bleeding, heart disease, hypertension, or kidney disease, you need to talk to your doctor and think about other pain relief options.

Aspirin for Arthritis Pain

Aspirin— acetylsalicylic acid– comes from a family of relevant drugs called salicylates. It is offered orally under numerous brand, consisting of Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin, and St. Joseph.

Aspirin eliminates moderate pain and fever.

Side Effects of Aspirin

The most common side effects of aspirin are stomach pain, heartburn, indigestion, queasiness, and vomiting. Stomach irritation can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach.

You can minimize the risk of stomach problems by taking aspirin with food or milk.

Other possible dangers of aspirin consist of:

  • Allergic reactions (hives, facial swelling, wheezing, and asthma).
  • Extreme bleeding and bruising.
  • Ringing in the ears and small deafness.

If you experience any of these effects, stop taking the medication and call your doctor.

Arthritis Pain Relief: When Should You Avoid Aspirin?

You ought to not take aspirin if you understand you dislike it. You need to likewise avoid aspirin if you:.

  • Have stomach ulcers.
  • Have bleeding issues.
  • Are scheduled for surgery.

Using Acetaminophen to Relieve Arthritis Pain

Like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used in numerous OTC products. And like aspirin, it alleviates pain and fever.

Acetaminophen is also the active ingredient in numerous products labeled “aspirin-free pain reliever” or “non-aspirin pain reliever.” To be sure what you’re getting in a medication, checked out the components.

Acetaminophen Side Effects

When taken as directed, acetaminophen has few side effects. Nevertheless, taking more than directed, taking it longer than directed, or taking it with three or more alcohols every day can cause liver damage and even liver failure.

Due to the fact that acetaminophen is a component in numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications, it is very important to inspect your other medicines to avoid an accidental overdose. Particular people might have to take a lower dose or may not be able to take acetaminophen at all.

In fact, to avoid unintentional overdose, the maker of Extra-Strength Tylenol brand acetaminophen has actually minimized the optimum dosage from eight pills (4,000 mg) to six tablets (3,000 mg) a day.

Due to the fact that the symptoms and signs of liver damage from acetaminophen might not be instantly noticeable, if you believe you might have taken excessive it is important to call 911 or poison control at 1800-222-1222 instantly.

Pain Relieving Rubs

Several topical creams, sprays, and gel pain relievers are available over the counter. They include NSAIDs, which have the same active medication as the oral variations. Topical medications work to dull arthritis pain, and make the skin feel hot or cold. Because lotions and creams do not travel through the whole body, they have less side effects than oral medications. However, when taken with oral pain relievers, especially NSAIDs, they can cause problems with the stomach lining.

Supplements for Arthritis Pain

A few organic solutions have actually been studied and praised for their pain-relief buildings. These include glucosamine and chondroitin, and SAMe– an herb that has actually also been used to get rid of anxiety. Nevertheless, studies haven’t validated that these supplements can relieve arthritis pain, according to the American College of Rheumatology. There is some evidence that fish oils containing omega-3 fats relieve pain, but they can likewise cause stomach issues.

Watch out for Supplements

The proof on organic supplements for arthritis pain still isn’t really clear. If you’re thinking of trying a supplement, talk with your doctor first. The FDA does not manage these products, which indicates it can be difficult to understand if what you’re getting in the bottle is what’s being promoted on the label. Also, natural supplements can cause side effects and can connect with other drugs you’re taking.


You may not discover relief from the first arthritis medication you attempt. Everyone’s arthritis is different, and not everybody responds to each drug in the same method. If you’re taking an NSAID or other painkiller and it isn’t really assisting, talk to your doctor about changing to another kind of drug. Keep in mind to talk about possible side effects and other drugs you’re taking, so the switch is as safe as possible.



The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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