Looking for drug options to find relief from a frozen shoulder? This comprehensive guide covers the top medications used to treat adhesive capsulitis.

As someone who’s dealt with the debilitating pain and stiffness of a frozen shoulder, I know how disruptive this condition can be to daily life. 

After months of limited range of motion, I finally found relief through a combination of physical therapy and medication.

If you’re struggling with a frozen shoulder, don’t lose hope. Work closely with your doctor to explore the best drug interaction checker and find an effective treatment plan. 

The right medications can significantly improve pain, inflammation, and mobility issues associated with adhesive capsulitis.

Overview of Frozen Shoulder

Let’s start with a quick refresher on what exactly frozen shoulder is. Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, involves inflammation and tightening of the shoulder joint capsule. 

This leads to restricted movement and chronic pain that gets worse over time.

While the exact cause is unknown, the frozen shoulder often occurs for no apparent reason in people between the ages of 40-60. 

It can last from 1-3 years if left untreated. Some factors that increase your risk include diabetes, thyroid disease, and immobilization of the shoulder joint.

Goals of Drug Treatment

When it comes to medications for a frozen shoulder, there are three main goals:

  • Reduce inflammation – Drugs like NSAIDs work to decrease swelling and pain.
  • Improve range of motion – Muscle relaxers allow stretching and movement to become easier.
  • Manage pain – Pain relievers like acetaminophen or prescription opioids can provide relief as needed.

Your doctor will work to determine the right drug or combination of medications to target your specific symptoms. Most patients need both pharmaceutical and physical therapy treatments.

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Common Medication Options

Below are some of the most common drug choices for managing frozen shoulder:


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) help reduce inflammation and pain. They should be taken as directed by your physician.

While helpful, NSAIDs can cause stomach upset and bleeding risk, especially with long-term use. Newer options like celecoxib (Celebrex) are easier on the stomach.

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections directly into the shoulder joint capsule can rapidly reduce inflammation and pain. Triamcinolone or methylprednisolone are commonly used steroids.

Potential side effects include elevated blood sugar, weakened bones, and a weakened immune system. Usually, 1-3 injections spaced weeks or months apart provide relief.

Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) or baclofen can help relax the shoulder muscles to improve motion. Drowsiness is a common side effect.


For severe frozen shoulder pain, opioid medications may be prescribed for short-term relief. 

These include hydrocodone or oxycodone. Use needs to be closely monitored due to risks of dependency.

Non-pharmaceutical treatments like physical therapy, massage, heat/ice, and gentle stretching help improve flexibility and function. 

However, targeted drug therapy can go a long way toward managing a frozen shoulder.

When to See Your Doctor

Don’t try to tough out frozen shoulder stiffness and pain. The sooner you see your physician, the better. 

There are many medication options that can help, especially when combined with physical therapy.

No one should have to put life on hold because of a frozen shoulder. With the right treatment plan, you can get back to doing all the things you love pain-free!


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