Nonprescription medications and hemophilia

People who have hemophilia often take nonprescription medications to relieve pain caused by bleeding into the muscles and joints. Pain is a common problem, and it is necessary to try to control it carefully.

Doctors often recommend acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, for pain relief in people who have hemophilia. Although acetaminophen does not reduce swelling, it is safer than other medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and Aleve, can cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines, interfere with blood clotting, and affect the function of the cells that initially plug a wound (platelets). Acetaminophen does not have these side effects.

Medications that people with hemophilia should not take include the following:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
  • Medications that contain salicylate. This ingredient is closely related to aspirin. Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, and many cough medicines contain salicylates.
  • Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aleve and ketoprofen. These medications are designed to reduce swelling and reduce pain.

Last Updated: August 13, 2009

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