Over The Counter Arthritis Pain Relief Medication

Over the counter pain (OTC) relievers are easy to find.

And within most people’s budgets.

Over The Counter Medication

Over The Counter Medication

But are they the best solutions for arthritis pain relief?

As with all medications, it is a case of buyer beware.

You should always know what you are taking.

Why you are taking it.

And what the potential side effects might be.

Many people are unaware of the dangers they pose.

Until something goes wrong.

Here’s what you need to know about the most common OTC pain reliever for arthritis:


Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Acetaminophen works for mild to moderate arthritis pain.

But doesn’t reduce the inflammation in the joints that often accompanies it.

It is therefore less effective for muscular aches and pains.

Does little for the swelling and fluid build-up. that is typical in arthritic joints.

In addition, acetaminophen poses a great risk of overdoes and liver toxicity.

This is because people do not follow the label instructions.

And might think more is better.

Tylenol has also become a common pain-relieving additive.

To many OTC and even prescription medications.

It is in cold remedies and more, so it is easy to overdose.

Due to taking more than one drug with acetaminophen in it.

Be sure to read all labels carefully.

Don’t stock your medicine cabinet with too many combination drugs.



Aspirin is good for mild to moderate pain.

But it’s most effective against inflammation at fairly high doses.

Unfortunately, this can cause serious complications over time.

Such as gastrointestinal bleeding.

It can also cause stomach ulcers.

Though buffered aspirin can reduce this risk somewhat.

It is also important to note that aspirin thins the blood.

So it may trigger or worsen bleeding.

Especially in those taking blood-thinners like warfarin, and after surgery.

Those who are allergic to aspirin should not take it.

Some people can also develop a conditions called Reyes (pronounced RYES) in relation to aspirin.

And results in dangerous swelling to the brain and liver.

Over The Counter Medication

Over The Counter Medication


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

There are a number of NSAIDS that are sold OTC.

Including Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naprosyn (Aleve).

OTC NSAIDs are much more effective against inflammation than Tylenol.

But all NSAIDs can cause potentially serious side effects.

Especially in older adults.

Even if taken properly.


Side effects include:

  • Stomach upset and ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Worsened high blood pressure

And have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

As always, treat any pain reliever you take seriously.

Don’t assume that just because it is OTC it is 100% safe.


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