Over-the-counter medications for arthritis pain relief include aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen; prescriptions include the narcotics oxycodone, propoxyphene and codeine, explains MedicineNet.com. Patients are urged to consult their physician about the potential side effects stemming from each and discouraged from alcohol consumption during use.
Aspirin is beneficial for mild to moderate pain and may produce side effects of stomach upset, ulcers and allergic reactions; ibuprofen provides similar relief and may cause stomach upset, swelling of the feet, headache or drowsiness, according to WebMD. Acetaminophen has few side effects when taken as directed in the proper dosage.
Narcotic drugs are beneficial for moderate to extreme pain and typically prescribed when other pain remedies have proven ineffective. Since they may be habit-forming, patients are strongly advised not to exceed the recommended dosage and discontinue use when they are no longer needed.