Your doctor may prescribe prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the event you need a stronger dose to control your symptoms or need to switch medications due to side effects. As a class, prolonged exposure to NSAIDs has been known to increase the risk of gastrointestinal upset, bleeding from stomach ulcers, and kidney function compromise.
For those who cannot tolerate NSAIDs by mouth, there are topical creams that can help arthritis pain without the normal GI side effects. Generally these NSAID topicals are more expensive, but can relieve pain and decrease inflammation.
Oral steroids have been prescribed for OA. Like the NSAID class, steroids are effective at decreasing inflammation, however, their use has been limited due to side effects and potential complications with long term use.
If your pain is severe and uncontrolled, one of our providers may prescribe a short course of narcotics. This is usually only recommended for short term, as long term narcotic use is known to cause tolerance addiction and withdrawal problems.