Salsalate is used to relieve pain from various conditions. It also reduces pain, swelling, and joint stiffness from arthritis. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
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Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times daily with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters). Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If stomach upset occurs while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to 2 weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug "as needed" (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the symptoms have worsened, the medicine may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms last or get worse or if you develop new symptoms.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: heartburn, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears, decreased hearing), easy bruising/bleeding, fast/pounding heartbeat, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain).
This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including salsalate) may rarely increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. This effect does not apply to low-dose aspirin. (See Drug Interactions section.) This effect can happen at any time while taking this drug but is more likely if you take it for a long time. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or increased risk for heart disease (for example, due to smoking, family history of heart disease, or conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes). Do not take this drug right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG). Also, this drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. This bleeding can occur without warning symptoms at any time during treatment.
Stop taking this medication and get medical help right away if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: stomach/abdominal pain that doesn't go away, chest pain, severe dizziness, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, trouble speaking, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds. (See also Precautions section.)
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication.
Before taking salsalate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or to salicylic acid; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, diabetes, stomach/intestine/esophagus problems (such as bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), heart disease (such as history of heart attack), high blood pressure, stroke, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands, blood disorders (such as anemia), bleeding/clotting problems, asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), growths in the nose (nasal polyps), certain genetic conditions (G-6-PD deficiency, pyruvate kinase deficiency).
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including salsalate. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have a change in the amount of urine.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Older adults may be at greater risk for stomach bleeding and kidney problems.
This medication is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers younger than 18 years should not take this medication if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have just been given a live virus vaccine, without first consulting a doctor about Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. This medication may harm an unborn baby and cause problems with normal labor/delivery. It is not recommended for use in pregnancy from 20 weeks until delivery. If your doctor decides that you need to use this medication between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy, you should use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. You should not use this medication after 30 weeks of pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug may pass into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug long-term and in high doses. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), certain drugs for seizures (phenytoin, valproic acid), cidofovir, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), dichlorphenamide, drugs for gout (such as probenecid, sulfinpyrazone), drugs that affect the acidity of urine (such as ammonium chloride, acetazolamide), lithium, methotrexate, pemetrexed, tenofovir.
This medication may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketorolac, or naproxen) that are similar to this drug and, if taken together, may increase your risk for side effects. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually 81-162 milligrams a day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as certain urine glucose tests, thyroid hormone levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: ringing in the ears, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fast breathing, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, complete blood count, liver/kidney function, salicylic acid levels) may be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you have arthritis, lifestyle changes (such as weight loss if needed, strengthening/conditioning exercises) may help improve your flexibility and joint function. Consult your doctor for specific instructions.
If you are taking this drug on a regular schedule (not "as needed") and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.