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Medications for Foot Pain

Here are the basics about each of the medicines below. Only common problems with them are listed.

Prescription Medications

Glucocorticoids

  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Dexamethasone

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Celecoxib
  • Meloxicam
  • Diclofenac
  • Sulindac
  • Piroxicam
  • Ketoprofen
  • Diflunisal
  • Nabumetone
  • Etodolac
  • Oxaprozin
  • Indomethacin

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

Acetaminophen

Prescription Medications

 

Glucocorticoids

Common names are:

  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Triamcinolone

Glucocorticoids are given to ease swelling. They should not be used when the body is fighting off an infection. They may be taken by mouth or injected. An injection lowers the risk of problems that may happen when taken by mouth.

Some problems may be:

 

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Common names are:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Celecoxib
  • Meloxicam
  • Sulindac
  • Diclofenac
  • Piroxicam
  • Ketoprofen
  • Diflunisal
  • Nabumetone
  • Etodolac
  • Oxaprozin
  • Indomethacin

The standard nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can work as well as glucocorticoids. These drugs ease swelling by other pathways than the glucocorticoid class of drugs. They are also safer to use in a person who has an infection. But they may have other harmful side effects.

Some problems are:

  • Stomach irritation, ulcers, and bleeding
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
  • An increased risk of things like heart attacks and strokes

Over-the-Counter Medicines

 

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Common names are:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

These medicines ease swelling. There are small differences between them in things like dosing and side effects.

Some problems are:

  • Stomach irritation, ulcers, and bleeding
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
  • An increased risk of things like heart attacks and strokes
 

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen can help ease mild aches and pains.

Some people may have an allergic reaction, such as:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Problems breathing or swallowing

Liver damage can happen when taking more than advised.

REFERENCES:

Acetaminophen. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/acetaminophen. Accessed May 6, 2020.

Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/foot-complications. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/foot-pain-and-problems. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 3/30/2021