Salsalate is used for anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in the symptomatic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and related inflammatory conditions.
There are few controlled comparative studies of salsalate and aspirin, but the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of salsalate are generally considered to be comparable to those of aspirin. In one study, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of salsalate (1 g 3 times daily) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis were about equal to those of indomethacin (25 mg 3 times daily). Further comparative studies of salsalate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis are needed to determine the relative efficacy of the drug. Salsalate may be particularly useful in patients with GI intolerance to aspirin or in patients in whom interference with normal platelet function by aspirin or other NSAIAs is considered undesirable.
There is insufficient evidence that salsalate has antipyretic activity. Since salsalate does not inhibit platelet aggregation, the drug should not be substituted for aspirin in the prophylaxis of thrombosis.