Prescription versus OTC: Which Medicine Is Best for Your Knee Pain?


If you decide to go the route of taking medicine, the first question to ask yourself is Prescription versus OTC (OTC stands for Over the Counter. These are medicines that are readily available without seeing a doctor first).The difficulty of selection is not simply due to the hassle in comparing medicine features.


Aside from the prescribed medicine for joint pain, there are also effective over-the-counter painkillers that make the selection process quite difficult.  So prescription versus OTC is the issue. Read the labels carefully, evaluate the pros and cons, to make a wise decision. Consider your current health condition and needs. Determine whether the medicine can address your problems or not. Especially if you have allergies. In addition, give consideration to the side effects and reactions.


The other factor is simply convenience and cost. Heading down to your local Walgreen’s,  CVS, or local drug store or chemist’s shop (if you live in the UK) is a lot quicker than waiting for a  doctor’s appointment, which may well entail the doctor’s fee, and the getting a prescription which may also cost a lot more and take more time, than just grabbing some aspirin or Tylenol off the shelf.


Prescription Medication to Treat Your Knee Pain


Doctors usually prescribe  prescription medication, in the case of a more serious condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune condition, which results in inflammation, pain and redness.


One of the most common prescribed drugs for knee pain is the disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDS. These drugs decrease inflammation, ease pain and reduce symptoms. Common DMARDs are Trexall, Plaquenil, and Azulfidine.


Prescribed biologics are often used with DMARDs when the latter do not work well for knee pain. The prescribed medication is injectable. It reduces inflammation in patients, except for those with infection or sensitive immunity. Common examples of biologics are Rituxan, Remicade, Orencia and Actemra.  Be sure to thoroughly understand these before signing up to take them, though.


If DMARDs and biologics do not work for you, doctors may prescribe Janus associated kinase inhibitors. The inhibitors work by affecting the immune cell activity and genes. Joint and tissue damage will be halted by these drugs. They also help in avoiding inflammation. Examples of the inhibitors are baricitinib and tofacitinib.

Over-the-Counter Medicines for Arthritis Relief


Over-the-counter medicine for knee pain is available in different forms and brands. One of the commonly used OTC medicine for joint pain is Tylenol or Acetaminophen. The treatment can address mild to moderate knee and hip pain. However,  patients with high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes or other medical condition really should consult with their doctor to avoid adverse drug interactions or possible side effects.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are most popular in treating arthritis pain. Most common examples are aspirin, naproxen and Motrin. They promote dual action treatment against joints swelling and pain relief. One reliable product you can try is Joint Support Supplement.


Pain relieving rubs are alternatives for people who do not want to take capsules or tablets. They numb the pain by traveling through your skin. However, it should not be taken with oral pain relievers. The question of Prescription versus OTC arises even with medicines for external use.


 The Choice of Knee Pain Treatment Largely Depends on You


The pros and cons of prescription versus OTC medicines take some careful consideration. There are cons in using prescription drugs because of some drug reactions. On the other hand, OTC medications may also have their cons in terms of health risks.


To make the right choice for your knee pain treatment, consider your current condition. Do you have existing health problems? Before you use any prescription or OTC drug, make sure it will not worsen the symptoms.


Moreover, before selecting prescription versus OTC drugs, put into consideration the severity of your pain. OTC drugs are often allowable in treating mild pain.


If you really find it difficult to choose, you can consult your doctor. A professional knows the most suitable knee problem drug that will avoid side effects. Alternatively, you can opt for a more natural knee protection, such as ayurvedic remedies, or other natural or home remedies.