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Salsalate

Drug Information

Salsalate is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and is in a class of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Common brand names:

Amigesic, Disalcid, Salflex, Salsitab

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • Folic Acid

    Salsalate and aspirin produce anti-inflammatory effects after they are converted in the body to salicylic acid. Studies have shown that aspirin can reduce the amount of folic acid in the blood,1 though it is not known whether this change is significant. Controlled studies are needed to determine whether people taking salsalate are at risk for folic acid deficiency.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Potassium

    Salsalate and aspirin are rapidly converted in the body to salicylic acid. Taking large amounts of aspirin can result in lower than normal blood levels of potassium,2 though it is not known whether this change is significant. Controlled studies are needed to determine whether people taking salsalate are at risk for potassium deficiency.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vitamin C

    Salsalate and aspirin are rapidly converted in the body to salicylic acid. Controlled studies show that taking aspirin increases the elimination of vitamin C from the body and lowers blood levels.3 Further controlled research is needed to determine whether salsalate specifically reduces vitamin C levels and whether people taking the drug are at risk for vitamin C deficiency.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • White Willow

    Willow bark contains salicin, which is related to aspirin. Salsalate, salicin, and aspirin produce anti-inflammatory effects after they have been converted to salicylic acid in the body. Taking aspirin at the same time as other salicylate drugs can result in adverse effects, such as ringing in the ears, dizziness, headache, confusion, and diarrhea.4 Though there are no studies specifically investigating an interaction between willow bark and salsalate, people taking salsalate should probably avoid using the herb until more information is available.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Alter HJ, Zvaifler NJ, Rath CE. Interrelationship of rheumatoid arthritis, folic acid and aspirin. Blood 1971;38:405–16.

2. Smith MJH, Smith PK, eds. The Salicylates: A Critical Bibliographic Review. New York: Interscience, 1966.

3. Loh HS, Watters K, Wilson CWM. The effects of aspirin on the metabolic availability of ascorbic acid in human beings. J Clin Pharmacol 1974;13:480.

4. Sifton DW, ed. Physicians Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 1661–2.

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