Description: Salsalate is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that belongs to the salicylate class.  It reduces the substances in the body that causes pain, inflammation, and fever by blocking the cyclooxygenase pathway to produce more prostaglandin.  Prostaglandin is essential for the production of pro-inflammatory chemical signals, such as interleukin- 6, TNF-alpha, and C-reactive proteins.

Onset: Will start taking effect 10 to 20 mins after taking oral tablet.

Duration: Lasts up to 12 hours


Absorption: Absorbed in the small intestine where it is broken down into two particles of salicylic acid.

Distribution: About 96% bound to the plasma protein

Metabolism: Mostly metabolised or processed in the Liver

Excretion: In the urine and feces after 7 days


Salsalate relieves pain, swelling, and joint stiffness from conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoartritis and other rheumatic disorders.


Salsalate should not be given to patients who has experienced asthma, urticaria, or allergic reactions from taking this drug.  It should not be given to patients for the relief of pain after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

How to use salsalate:

Dosage (based on your medical condition and response to therapy): Take 3000 mg of this medication by mouth, usually 2 to 3 times daily with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) or in divided doses.  Doses may be as follows: 1) two doses of two 750 mg tablets: 2) two doses of three 500 mg tablets/capsules; or 3) three doses of two 500 mg tablets/capsules.

  • Drink drug with a full glass of water (8 oz/ 240 mL)
  • Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug.
  • If stomach upset occurs while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid. However, this does not lower risk of stomach or bowel problems (e.g. bleeding, ulcers)
  • To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.
  • Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. For certain conditions (e.g., arthritis), it may take up to 2 weeks of taking this drug regularly until you get the full benefit.
  • For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.

Inform your doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen or if you develop new symptoms.

Availability: Prescription only

  • May increase risk of heart attack or stroke on patients with existing heart disease.
  • This drug should not be taken right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG).
  • May cause bleeding or ulcers in the stomach or intestines. This bleeding can occur without warning symptoms at any time during treatment.
  • Reye’s Syndrome may develop in individuals who have chicken pox, influenza, or flu Some studies suggest a possible association between the development of Reye’s Syndrome and the use of medicines containing salicylate or aspirin.
  • Stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: chest pain, severe dizziness, weakness on one side of the body, sudden visionchanges, slurred speech, black stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds. (See also Precautions section.)

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

It is advised to consult your doctor or pharmacist when any of these side effect manifest.

Most common side effects associated with Salsalate (listed in descending order of frequency):

  • Tinnitus or hearing continuous, ringing sound in the ears
  • Nausea or discomfort in the stomach
  • Hearing impairment
  • Rash
  • Vertigo or the sensation of spinning

Other reported side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding (symptoms: abdominal pain, dark-colored stools; signs: paleness)
  • Allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock (rash,itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing)- consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately!
  • Angioedema
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Decreased creatinine clearance
  • Nephritis (symptoms: pain when urinating, blood in urine)
  • Urticaria (pale red, raised, itchy bumps)

This drug may rarely cause serious, possibly fatal liver disease. This manifests as:

  • dark urine,
  • yellowing eyes/skin,
  • unusual/extreme tiredness,
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain,
  • persistent nausea/vomiting.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.



Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially stomach bleeding and kidney problems.

  • Allergy: Before taking salsalate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or to salicylic acid
  • Medical Conditions: This medication should not be used if you have:
    • aspirin-sensitive asthma (a history of worsening breathing with runny/stuffy nose after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs),
    • severe kidney disease.
  • Medical History: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
    • liver disease,
    • poorly controlled diabetes,
    • stomach/intestine/esophagus problems (e.g., bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), heart disease (e.g., history of heart attack),
    • high blood pressure,
    • stroke,
    • swelling of the ankles/feet/hands,
    • blood disorders (e.g., anemia),
    • bleeding/clotting problems,
    • asthma,
    • growths in the nose (nasal polyps),
    • certain genetic conditions (G-6-PD deficiency, pyruvate kinase deficiency)

Pregnancy Risk: Category C- Drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug long-term and in high doses. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

  • Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), certain drugs for seizures (phenytoin, valproic acid), cidofovir, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), cyclosporine, drugs for gout (e.g., probenecid, sulfinpyrazone), drugs that affect the acidity of urine (e.g., ammonium chloride, acetazolamide), lithium, methotrexate, pemetrexed, tenofovir.
  • This medication may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, “blood thinners” such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
  • May enhance glucose lowering effect of anti-diabetic drug, such as sulfonylureas.
  • Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketorolac, or naproxen) that are similar to this drug and, if taken together, may increase your risk for side effects. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
  • This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including certain urine glucose tests, thyroid hormone levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • ringing in the ears,
  • confusion,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • dizziness,
  • fast breathing,
  • seizures


Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure, complete blood count, liver/kidney function tests, salicylic acid levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

If you have arthritis, lifestyle changes (e.g., weight loss if needed, strengthening/conditioning exercises) may help improve your flexibility and joint function. Consult your doctor for specific instructions.

Missed Dose

If you are taking this drug on a regular schedule (not “as needed”) and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.


There are no brands containing this molecule.

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