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Can I take other medicines alongside NSAIDs?

Can I take other medicines alongside NSAIDs?

Many people with arthritis and other long-term pain conditions will need to take additional medicines. It's usually fine to take a combination of painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). And depending on the condition you have, you may need other drug treatments as well. For example:

  • For inflammatory types of arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) you might also need disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate. As the name suggests, these alter the way the condition develops rather than just relieving the symptoms. DMARDs won’t have an immediate effect on your pain, but once they do start to take effect you may be able to reduce your pain relief medications.
  • NSAIDs are helpful for dealing with an acute attack of gout, but you may also need another drug such as allopurinol or febuxostat in the longer term to reduce the risk of having further attacks of gout.

If you're taking medications for other conditions besides your arthritis you should speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about possible drug interactions.

Can I have vaccinations if I'm taking NSAIDs?

There's no particular reason to avoid vaccinations while you're taking NSAIDs. However, if you're also taking disease-modifying drugs or biologics (for example, for rheumatoid arthritis) then it's best to check with your doctor – in some cases, live vaccines may not be recommended.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.