Osteoarthritis Medication

2 min readMay 7, 2021


What is the best prescription medication for osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis Medication
Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Medicine can help to reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis. The following medications are recommended by the doctor to treat the disease:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Opioids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Hyaluronan injections

Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very effective to treat mild to moderate joint pain. There are some topical agents available to provide short-term pain relief such as capsaicin, NSAIDs and specific creams.

Pain relief is very necessary for maintenance of joint function and quality of life. If someone limits the movement of affected joints due to pain, they will associate shortening, tendons, tightening, weakness of muscles and ligaments.

Patient’s aim is to find relief pain without any side effects, while using pain killer. Acetaminophen is the first medication prescribed by the doctor. Patient should take it regularly for getting amazing results. It has fewer side effects than other medication for osteoarthritis.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is very effective in case of kidney insufficiency, if someone is not taking blood thinners and if someone has no family history of gastrointestinal bleeding like stomach ulcers. Therefore, patient can take nonprescription Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including naproxen and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). One can take the low dose of this medication to reduce the pain.

If someone is taking this medication for long term period, a blood test or a blood count will be checked by the doctor for kidney function. Omeprazole is also suggested by the doctor to protect from stomach ulcers. Consult the health care providers, if someone is not feeling better after take these medications.

Opioid pain killers such as hydrocodone or codeine will be prescribed by the doctor. This is used by people, who cannot take Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other therapies for pain relief.

Other medications for osteoarthritis

  • Mild narcotic painkillers
  • Corticosteroids
  • Topical pain-relieving rubs, sprays and creams
  • Viscosupplementation

The following questions to ask from Pharmacist before taking any medications

  • What are the side effects of medications?
  • Should take this drug with the over-the-counter medicines one take?
  • How often should take this medication?
  • Should take this drug with the other prescription medicines one take?
  • Should one take this drug between meals or with food?

The following persons are at higher risk for side effects from these medications:

  • Smokers
  • People with digestive tract bleeding or a history of peptic ulcers
  • People taking anticoagulants or oral corticosteroids
  • People who use excess quantity of alcohol

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