Can adverse effects of medications complicate my osteoarthritis?

Side effects from medication will not complicate your osteoarthritis, but some drugs used to treat the condition carry potentially harmful side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin (Bayer, Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) can help relieve osteoarthritis pain but can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver and kidney problems. Ibuprofen and naproxen can increase your risk for a heart attack.

As a general rule, it’s best to take the least amount of medicine for the shortest possible time to avoid developing side effects. Talk to your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of various pain relievers and choose the one that’s right for you. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, indomethacin and celecoxib are widely used to treat the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis (OA). These drugs work well, but they carry a risk of stomach bleeding and may increase your risk of having a heart attack. In addition, these drugs can interact badly with other drugs you might need for other health problems. Not being able or willing to take these drugs could complicate your OA by making it harder for you to find pain relief.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.