There are many different classes of over the counter medications that are used for arthritis
. It is important to discuss the choice of medication with your primary care doctor
or orthopedic doctor who is aware of your past medical history, current degree of your arthritis, and other medications that you are currently taking. Over the counter medications are generally safe but they all have side effects and can interact with other medications that you are already taking.
NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are one of the most effective treatments for arthritis. They help to relieve pain and swelling. However, they can cause stomach upset and sometimes can lead to ulcers. It is important to always take this class of medication with food. A good choice is Aleve as you only need to take it twice a day. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is also effective for pain relief but does not help with swelling or inflammation. A good choice for arthritis that is often very effective are topical medications. These contain pain relieving properties and are not ingested so will not affect your stomach. You might want to discuss taking supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin which can help with certain types of arthritis.