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Elbow and Forearm Overuse Injuries Medication

  • Author: Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 21, 2015

Medication Summary

Medical intervention is aimed toward the joint goals of decreasing inflammation and providing analgesia. The major concern is the effect on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with the long-term use of certain medications. Renal function must be followed with long-term NSAID use. Long-term corticosteroid use has a myriad of side effects, which are beyond the scope of this article.

Related Medscape Reference topics:

Corticosteroid-Induced Myopathy

Corticosteroid Injections of Joints and Soft Tissues

Related Medscape resources:

Resource Center Pain Management


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Class Summary

NSAIDs are used to help reduce inflammation and are used as analgesics. Numerous drugs comprise this class, and physicians should be aware of each NSAID subclass, as some patients respond better to one subclass than another subclass. A few of the medications are named below, not to belabor the wide variety of choices available.

Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors are new-generation NSAIDs that are supposed to have decreased GI side effects. Although the GI side-effect profiles of these drugs may be slightly better than the previous generation of NSAIDs, their efficacy is not any more impressive. These drugs inhibit COX-2, but they do not inhibit COX-1.

Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)


Has good anti-inflammatory properties and exceptional analgesic properties. Used as a first-line medication because of the qd dosing, which helps with patient compliance.

Available in 100-mg and 150-mg doses for patients who do not tolerate the higher dose. All doses should be taken with food.

Naproxen or naproxen sodium (Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox)


Available in many dosages and delivery systems. Fairly inexpensive and has a similar therapeutic profile to the other NSAIDs.



Class Summary

Corticosteroids are some of the strongest anti-inflammatory agents available. Injectable preparations make it possible to deliver the drug directly to the joint in a concentrated dose, while greatly decreasing systemic effects.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Meticorten, Sterapred)


Oral prednisone is used in cases when inflammation is severe and the patient has contraindications to the administration of steroidal injections. Use with great caution because of systemic effects.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM President, Sports Medicine of Delaware, Inc

Vincent N Disabella, DO, FAOASM is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Sherwin SW Ho, MD Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Section of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences, The Pritzker School of Medicine

Sherwin SW Ho, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, Herodicus Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Biomet, Inc. for speaking and teaching; Received grant/research funds from Smith and Nephew for fellowship funding; Received grant/research funds from DJ Ortho for course funding; Received grant/research funds from Athletico Physical Therapy for course, research funding; Received royalty from Biomet, Inc. for consulting.

Additional Contributors

Joseph P Garry, MD, FACSM, FAAFP Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School

Joseph P Garry, MD, FACSM, FAAFP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Minnesota Medical Association, American College of Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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