Generic Name: salsalate, Oral tablet

Amigesic ,Argesic-SA ,Disalcid,Mono Gesic,Salflex

All Brands

  • Amigesic
  • Argesic-SA
  • Disalcid
  • Mono Gesic
  • Salflex
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for salsalate

Oral tablet
1

Salsalate is an oral medication used to treat joint pain in rheumatic disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis.

2

This medication comes with serious warnings. It raises your risk of heart attack and stroke as well as stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding.

3

Common side effects include dizziness, upset stomach, and ringing in your ears.

4 5

Salsalate may cause a serious skin reaction. Stop taking this medication and contact your doctor right away if you experience blisters, rashes, fever, or severe itching.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This drug may raise your risk of severe, potentially deadly heart attack and stroke. Your risk is greater if you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Long-term use of this drug also increases these risks.

Don’t use this drug right before or after bypass heart surgery. This could further increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Increased risk of ulcers and stomach bleeding. This drug increases your risk of severe, potentially deadly stomach ulcers or bleeding. These problems may occur without warning. You’re at higher risk if you’re age 65 years or older.

Pregnancy risk

This medication may cause harm to your fetus if you’re more than 24 weeks pregnant. Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Warning for children with an infection

Don’t give this medication to a child who has the flu, chickenpox, or any other infection. This may cause brain and liver damage. Talk to your doctor before giving this drug to a child.

May cause you to bleed more easily

You may bleed more easily while taking this medication. This includes bleeding from your gums. Be gentle when brushing and flossing your teeth. Avoid injury and cuts.

Drug Features

Salsalate is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet. It’s also available in a generic version. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand.  Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why It's Used

Salsalate is used to treat joint pain in rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

How It Works

It isn’t fully understood how salsalate works. It belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

More Details

How It Works

It isn’t fully understood how salsalate works. It belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

NSAIDs may help reduce swelling by lowering levels of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that usually causes inflammation.

SECTION 2 of 4

salsalate Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with salsalate include:

  • dizziness

  • upset stomach and nausea

  • ringing in your ears

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reaction. Signs include:

    • rash
    • hives
    • itching
    • redness
    • chest tightness
    • fever
  • increased bleeding. Signs include:

    • vomiting blood
    • blood in your stool
    • bleeding from your gums
    • bruising easily
  • kidney problems. Symptoms may include:

    • inability to pass urine
    • increased body weight
    • blood in your urine
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • dark-colored urine
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin
  • heart failure. Signs may include:

    • trouble breathing
    • weight gain
    • swelling of your legs or arms
  • trouble balancing, trouble speaking or thinking, or blurred vision

  • painful headache

  • severe dizziness

  • fast heartbeat or chest pain and chest pressure

  • skin reaction. Symptoms include:

    • redness
    • swelling
    • blisters
    • peeling skin
    • red eyes
    • sores in your mouth, eyes, or nose
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Salsalate doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

salsalate May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Salsalate can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Interact with This Drug

Blood pressure drugs
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

Salsalate may reduce the blood pressure-lowering effects of these drugs. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of ACE inhibitors.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

A few examples are:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • indomethacin
  • naproxen

Don’t take these medications together. Combining them may cause an increase in side effects, including stomach pain or stomach bleeding.

Diuretics

Salsalate may decrease the effectiveness of diuretics.

These drugs include:

  • furosemide
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • chlorothiazide

Bipolar disorder drug
  • lithium

Salsalate may increase the levels of lithium in your body. This may lead to increased side effects of lithium.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • methotrexate

Salsalate may increase the level of methotrexate in your body. This may lead to increased side effects from methotrexate.

Anticoagulant, blood thinner
  • warfarin

Combining these medications may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with heart disease

If you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, you shouldn’t take salsalate. It may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.

People with high blood pressure

Salsalate can cause high blood pressure or make high blood pressure worse. Your doctor may monitor you closely if you have high blood pressure while taking this drug.

People with stomach ulcers or bleeding

This medication increases your risk of ulcers or stomach bleeding if you have a history of these conditions. 

Children with infections

Children who have the flu, chickenpox, or any other flu-like infection shouldn’t take this drug. It may cause brain and liver damage.

People with kidney disease

Salsalate can further damage your kidneys if you have kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems. You may need to stop talking salsalate.

People with asthma

Salsalate may make your breathing problems worse. If you have asthma that becomes worse after taking aspirin, you shouldn’t take this drug. Salsalate may have the same effect as aspirin. 

Pregnant women

Salsalate is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug may cause harm to your unborn baby if you’re more than 24 weeks pregnant.

Women who are nursing

Salsalate may pass into breast milk and can cause side effects in your baby. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to breastfeed or take this medication.

For Seniors

If you’re aged 65 years or older, your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body, which can be toxic.

For Children

This drug shouldn’t be used in children who have the flu or other infections.

Allergies

Salsalate can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or aspirin. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take salsalate (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic disorders

Brand: Disalcid

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 500 mg and 750 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

3,000 mg per day divided in 2–3 evenly spaced doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Avoid use in children. A safe and effective dosage hasn’t been established for this age group.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Salsalate comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Stop Taking It or Miss Doses

Salsalate can be used to treat chronic conditions. There’s no cure for these disorders, but taking salsalate will help you feel better. If you stop taking this medication or miss doses, your pain and inflammation may come back.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much, you may experience:

  • ringing in your ears
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • sweating
  • fast breathing
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

Get emergency medical help if you take or think you’ve taken too much salsalate.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, wait and take a single dose at the usual time. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

You may be able to tell this drug is working if you experience less pain and swelling.

This is a short-term or long-term therapy, depending on the condition you’re treating.

You can take salsalate with or without food

Take it with food if you get an upset stomach with this medication.

Store this medication at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Note: Keep your medications away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

While taking salsalate your doctor may test you for the following to make sure the drug isn’t harming to your body:

  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • blood cell counts
  • blood pressure

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with Mukti Joshi (UIC)

Medically reviewed by Zara Risoldi Cochrane (Creighton) on May 11, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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