Arthritis Medications

Pain-Relieving Medications for Arthritis

The following medications may be used to help relieve pain associated with arthritis.
 
Acetaminophen
Acetaminophen is a non-prescription medication used to relieve pain. A few examples include aspirin-free Anacin®, Excedrin®, Panadol®, Tylenol®, and Tylenol Arthritis®. Acetaminophen is often the first arthritis medication doctors recommend, since it is safe relative to some other drugs and it is effective against pain.
 
While acetaminophen is a pain reliever, it does not reduce swelling. Acetaminophen does not irritate the stomach and is less likely than NSAIDs to cause long-term side effects. Research has shown that acetaminophen relieves pain as effectively as NSAIDs for many people with arthritis.
 
Among the people who should use acetaminophen with caution are those with liver disease, those who drink alcohol heavily, and those who take blood-thinning medicines or NSAIDs.
 
This arthritis medication should not to be used for more than ten days unless directed by a physician.
 
Aspirin
Aspirin is used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, allowing people to move more easily and carry out normal activities. It is generally part of early and ongoing therapy.
 
Side effects of aspirin can include:
 
  • An upset stomach
  • A tendency to bruise easily
  • Ulcers, pain, or discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting.
 
Most doctors do not treat juvenile arthritis (such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) with aspirin because of the possibility that it will cause bleeding problems, upset stomach, liver problems, or Reye's syndrome. However, for some children, aspirin in the correct dose (measured by blood test) can control juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms effectively with few serious side effects. Do not give aspirin to children without first talking with your healthcare provider.
 
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