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Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
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Medications for Foot Pain

The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special care. Use each of these medications only as advised by your doctor, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.

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 Medications

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

Acetaminophen

Prescription Medications

Glucocorticoids

Common names include:

  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Triamcinolone

You may be given glucocorticoids (cortisone-like drugs) to reduce inflammation. Sometimes these are given by mouth for a short period of time. This helps you avoid the side effects of a lengthy treatment. These medications should not be used when the body is fighting off an infection. More often, certain glucocorticoids are given by an injection into the affected area. This is done to try to avoid the whole-body side effects that occur more often when taking glucocorticoids by mouth.

There are many complications associated with this class of drugs. Even repeated doses separated by long periods of time may cause major damage. But a few sessions of glucocorticoids should not cause serious problems in most people.

Possible side effects include:

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Common names include:

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

The standard nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be as effective as glucocorticoids. These drugs reduce inflammation by other pathways than the glucocorticoid class of drugs. They are safer to use in the presence of infection. But they may have other harmful side effects.

Possible side effects include:

  • Stomach irritation, ulceration, and bleeding
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
  • Possible increased risk of events such as heart attacks and strokes

Over-the-Counter Medications

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Common names include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

Aspirin, which reduces inflammation, is really the first of the NSAIDs. There are minor differences among the available anti-inflammatory agents. These differences include dosing intervals, frequency of certain side effects, and other characteristics.

Possible side effects include:

  • Stomach irritation, ulceration, and bleeding
  • Allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
  • Possible increased risk of events such as heart attacks and strokes
Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen can help relieve mild aches and pains.

Side effects such as allergic reactions can occur in some people. Symptoms can include:

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

Be careful not to exceed overall dosing instructions with all medications containing acetaminophen. Liver damage can occur at high doses.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Contact your doctor if:

  • The desired effect is not achieved
  • An undesired effect appears
  • You develop stomach problems

Special Considerations

If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines:

  • Take the medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medication.
  • Plan ahead for refills if you need them.
  • Do not share your prescription medication with anyone.
  • Medications can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor if you are taking more than one medication, including over-the-counter products and supplements.

Revision Information

  • Acetaminophen. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Accessed December 31, 2012.

  • Foot care. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html. Accessed December 28, 2012.

  • Foot care. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/foot-care. Updated April 18, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.

  • Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed December 28, 2012.

  • Foot care basics: preventing and treating common foot conditions. Harvard Medical School website. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/special%5Fhealth%5Freports/Foot%5FCare%5FBasics. Accessed December 28, 2012.