Arthritis sufferers can take pain medication several times a day, depending on the type of medication, as explained by WebMD. Some medications are taken every four to six hours, while others are taken only once or twice daily.
Sufferers who take over-the-counter ibuprofen normally ingest one dose every four to six hours with 8 ounces of water, according to WebMD. The normal schedule of naproxen, another over-the-counter pain reliever, is only two or three times throughout the day with a full glass of water, and patients must not lie down for at least 10 minutes after consumption to prevent stomach problems. Patients who are prescribed oral piroxicam, which is not available over the counter, take the medication once a day with a full glass of water and food, and piroxicam comes with the same precaution against lying down. All of these medications are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Acetaminophen is another common over-the-counter choice, as WebMD explains. While its dosage varies, sufferers may take no more than 3,000 milligrams of acetaminophen per day.
In more severe cases, sufferers may receive strong narcotics to combat arthritic pain, notes WebMD. Patients must adhere to the prescribed instructions while taking narcotics, as long-term usage may result in physical dependence.