When it comes to using medications to manage the pain of osteoarthritis, The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), an American research agency, recommends that you start slowly. Begin with low doses of drugs that have the fewest side effects.
According to the NIAMS website, here are a few options to try first.
Paracetamol (Tylenol, Panadol) Generally, your first line of defence is paracetamol, which can offer temporary pain relief but does not reduce inflammation. It’s considered safe but can damage your liver when taken in large doses. Follow package instructions and do not mix with alcohol as the combination can cause liver damage. Your doctor may also recommend topical sprays or creams.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) Many OA patients, particularly older adults, will progress to low doses of NSAIDS. These commonly include Advil, Ibuprofin, and Naxproxin. It’s important to be aware that unlike paracetamol, these drugs may lead to side effects and other health risks over time. As always, consult your physician.