Common Arthritis Pain Drugs

The following drugs are commonly used to treat arthritis pain. Listed are the drugs’ generic names followed (in parentheses) by their brand names. In many cases, only a generic version of the drug is available.



NSAIDs: Nonselective
Aspirin325 milligrams (mg) every 4–6 hours
Diclofenac (Voltaren)50–100 mg every 8–12 hours
Etodolac200–400 mg every 6–8 hours
Flurbiprofen (Ansaid)50–100 mg every 6–12 hours
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)200–800 mg every 4–6 hours
Indomethacin (Indocin)25–75 mg every 8–12 hours
Ketoprofen25–200 mg every 6–24 hours
Ketorolac10 mg every 4–6 hours
Mefenamic acid (Ponstel)250 mg every 6 hours
Meloxicam (Mobic)7.5–15 mg every 12–24 hours
Nabumetone (Relafen)500–750 mg every 8–12 hours
Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)220–750 mg every 6–24 hours
Oxaprozin (Daypro)600–1,200 mg every 12–24 hours
Piroxicam (Feldene)20 mg every 24 hours
Sulindac (Clinoril)150–200 mg every 12 hours
NSAIDs: COX-2 Inhibitor
Celecoxib (Celebrex)50–200 mg every 12 hours
Pure Analgesics: Nonopioid
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)325–650 mg every 4–6 hours
Pure Analgesics: “Weak” Opioids
Tapentadol (Nucynta)50–100 mg every 4–6 hours
Tramadol (Ultram)50–300 mg every 4–24 hours
Pure Analgesics: Opioids
Codeine30–60 mg every 4–6 hours
Fentanyl (Duragesic [patch], Fentora)12–100 micrograms (mcg) every 72 hours
Hydrocodone (Vicodin)5–10 mg every 4–6 hours
Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)2–8 mg every 4–6 hours
Meperidine (Demerol)50–100 mg every 4 hours
Morphine (Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin)15–200 mg every 4–24 hours
Oxycodone (OxyContin)10–80 mg every 4–13 hours
Oxymorphone (Opana)5–40 mg every 4–6 hours
Antidepressants: Tricyclics
Amitriptyline10–150 mg every 24 hours
Doxepin10–150 mg every 24 hours
Nortriptyline (Pamelor) 10–75 mg every 24 hours
Antidepressants: Serotonin–Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 20–60 mg every 24 hours
Milnacipran (Savella)12.5–100 mg every 12 hours
Gabapentin (Neurontin)100–800 mg every 8 hours
Pregabalin (Lyrica)25–300 mg every 12 hours