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salsalate (Amigesic, Anaflex, Argesic-SA)

Brand Names: Amigesic, Anaflex, Argesic-SA, Disalcid, Marthritic, Mono-Gesic, Salflex, Salsitab

Generic Name: salsalate

What is salsalate?

Salsalate is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in a group of drugs called salicylates (sa-LIS-il-ates).

Salsalate is used to reduce pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatic disorder.

Salsalate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of salsalate?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Stop using salsalate and call your doctor at once if you have:

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from salsalate.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about salsalate?

You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney disease, or if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin, an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), or other salicylates.

Salsalate can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG). Salsalate may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking salsalate?

Salsalate can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Salsalate may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using salsalate, especially in older adults.

You should not use salsalate if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

Do not take this medicine if you have a fever, flu symptoms, or chickenpox. Salicylates can cause Reye's syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition, if you have any of these conditions.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Taking salsalate during late pregnancy may harm the unborn baby, and may cause bleeding in the mother or the baby during delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

How should I take salsalate?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

It may take up to 4 days before you receive the full benefit of taking salsalate. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using salsalate.

If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, tell your healthcare professional you currently use this medicine. You may need to stop for a short time.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Since salsalate is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include ringing in your ears, headache, confusion, severe dizziness or drowsiness, sweating, fast breathing, severe vomiting or diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking salsalate?

Avoid alcohol. Heavy drinking can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking other medicines that may contain a salicylate (such as aspirin, magnesium salicylate, choline salicylate, diflunisal, Ecotrin, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others).

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to salsalate (such as aspirin, choline salicylate, or magnesium salicylate).

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

If you are also taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke, do not stop taking it or change your dose without your doctor's advice. Aspirin should be used for cardiovascular conditions only under the supervision of a doctor.

Avoid smoking, since it can also increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

What other drugs will affect salsalate?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect salsalate, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect salsalate. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about salsalate.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 9/9/2020

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