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Generic name: Salsalate
Brand names: Disalcid

Why is Salsalate prescribed?

Salsalate, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis), and other rheumatic disorders (conditions that involve pain and inflammation in joints and the tissues around them).

Most important fact about Salsalate

Salsalate contains salicylate, an ingredient that may be associated with the development of Reye"s syndrome (a disorder that causes abnormal brain and liver function). It occurs mostly in children who have taken aspirin or other medications containing salicylate to relieve symptoms of the flu or chickenpox. Do not take Salsalate if you have flu symptoms or chickenpox.

How should you take Salsalate?

Take Salsalate exactly as prescribed. Food may slow its absorption. However, your doctor may ask you to take Salsalate with food in order to avoid stomach upset.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature. Keep out of the reach of children.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Salsalate.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Hearing impairment, nausea, rash, ringing in the ears, vertigo

Why should Salsalate not be prescribed?

Salsalate should not be taken if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to salsalate.

Special warnings about Salsalate

Use Salsalate with extreme caution if you have chronic kidney disease or a peptic ulcer.

Salicylates occasionally cause asthma in people who are sensitive to aspirin. Although Salsalate contains a salicylate, it is less likely than aspirin to cause this reaction.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Salsalate

If Salsalate is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Salsalate with the following:

ACE inhibitor-type blood pressure drugs such as Capoten and Vasotec
Acetazolamide (Diamox)
Aspirin and other drugs containing salicylates such as Bufferin and Empirin
Blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin
Medications for gout such as Zyloprim and Benemid
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn)
Oral diabetes drugs such as Glucotrol and Tolinase
Penicillin (Pen-Vee K)
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Steroids such as Deltasone and Decadron
Sulfinpyrazone (Anturane)
Thyroid medications such as Synthroid

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Salsalate during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Salsalate may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Salsalate is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Salsalate is finished.

Recommended dosage

You may not feel the full benefit of Salsalate for 3 to 4 days.


The usual dosage is 3,000 milligrams daily, divided into smaller doses as follows:

(1) 2 doses of two 750-milligram tablets, or
(2) 2 doses of three 500-milligram tablets or capsules, or
(3) 3 doses of two 500-milligram tablets or capsules


Safety and effectiveness of Salsalate use in children have not been established.


A lower dosage may be sufficient to achieve desired blood levels without the more common side effects.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Deaths have occurred from salicylate overdose. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of Salsalate overdose may include:
    Confusion, dehydration, diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, high body temperature, hyperventilation, ringing in the ears, sweating, vertigo, vomiting

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