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Salsalate

Pronunciation

Generic Name: salsalate (SAL-sa-late)
Brand Name: Examples include Amigesic and Salflex

Salsalate is used for:

Treating pain and inflammation due to arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Salsalate is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking several different chemical processes within the body that cause pain and inflammation.

Do NOT use salsalate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in salsalate
  • you have influenza (flu) or flu symptoms, chickenpox, or another viral illness
  • you have bleeding problems such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or low blood platelets
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness) to aspirin or an NSAID (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)
  • you are taking probenecid or sulfinpyrazone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Video: Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Doctor Ariel D. Teitel discusses several treatments that can help control the progression of the disease and help to alleviate the swelling and pain.

Before using salsalate:

Some medical conditions may interact with salsalate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have alcoholism or if you consume 3 or more alcohol-containing drinks every day
  • if you have a history of asthma, bleeding or clotting problems, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), kidney or liver problems, gout, stomach or peptic ulcers (bleeding ulcers), heartburn, stomach upset or pain, stroke, a weakened blood vessel (cerebral aneurysm) or bleeding in the brain, or vitamin K deficiency
  • if you are a child with Kawasaki syndrome (a rare inflammation causing heart problems in children)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with salsalate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide) because the effectiveness of salsalate may be decreased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, heparin, warfarin) or NSAIDs (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen) because side effects, including risk of bleeding, may be increased by salsalate
  • Insulin and oral antidiabetics (eg, glyburide, nateglinide) because side effects, including abnormally low blood sugar level (eg, hunger, shakiness or weakness, dizziness, headache, sweating), may be increased by salsalate
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), methotrexate, thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine), or valproic acid because their actions and side effects may be increased by salsalate
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (eg, enalapril), probenecid, or sulfinpyrazone because their effectiveness may be decreased by salsalate

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if salsalate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use salsalate:

Use salsalate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Salsalate may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take salsalate with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking salsalate.
  • If you miss a dose of salsalate, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use salsalate.

Important safety information:

  • Salsalate is similar to aspirin. Before you begin taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains aspirin or an aspirin-like medicine. If it does or if you are uncertain, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Serious stomach ulcers or bleeding can occur with salsalate. Taking salsalate in high doses, taking it for long periods of time, or drinking alcohol increases the risk of these side effects. Taking salsalate with food will NOT reduce the risk of these effects. If you have severe stomach or back pain, black tar-like stools, vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds, or unusual weight gain or swelling, contact your doctor or emergency room immediately.
  • Salsalate may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Salsalate is similar to aspirin, which has been linked to Reye syndrome. Do not take salsalate during or after chickenpox, flu, or other viral infections without checking with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using salsalate.
  • Use salsalate with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using salsalate during pregnancy. Salsalate is not recommended during the last 3 months (third trimester) of pregnancy due to the potential for fetal harm or complications during delivery. Salsalate is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using salsalate, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of salsalate:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Heartburn; nausea; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; severe stomach pain; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; fever; hearing loss; lethargy; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; nausea; rapid breathing; rapid or irregular heartbeat; ringing in the ears; seizures; shortness of breath; stomach pain; sweating; vomiting.

Proper storage of salsalate:

Store salsalate at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep salsalate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about salsalate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Salsalate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take salsalate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about salsalate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to salsalate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using salsalate.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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