4 Different Types of Pharmacology Related To the Musculoskeletal System

I wanted to talk about musculoskeletal pharmacology for some time. We'll talk about four different types of pharmacology related to the musculoskeletal system.



We'll start with non-opioid agents. The purpose of these drugs is to provide analgesia, anti-inflammatory effects, and antipyretic effects, so, to reduce fever. These work by reducing prostaglandin formation which decreases the inflammatory process. They can also decrease uterine contractions, lower fevers and reduce pain.

Side effects include nausea, vomiting, vertigo, abdominal pain, GIT distress and bleeding, especially with overuse, ulcer formation and Reye's (Reye) syndrome, which occurs in children with aspirin.

Pharmacist should be aware of patients using non opioids because of masked pain, as well as complaints of stomach pain.

Examples include Tylenol, NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Advil, and Celebrex.



Opioids provide analgesia for acute severe pain. They stimulate opioid receptors within the central nervous system to help with pain dependency or withdrawal.

Side effects include mood swings, sedation, confusion, vertigo, cognitive impairments, orthostatic, hypotension, constipation, in-coordination, physical dependence, tolerance and death due to overdose. 

Examples include morphine, Demerol, OxyContin, which is a brand name, oxycodone, the generic name, fentanyl and codeine.



Glucocorticoid agents, aka, corticosteroids, they provide a hormonal anti-inflammatory effect as well as metabolic effects and vasoconstriction. 

Side effects include muscle atrophy, GIT distress, glaucoma, drug induced Cushing’s syndrome, osteoporosis, mood changes, hypertension, and fatigue. 

Examples include hydrocortisone, cortisol, prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, and nasonex.



And finally, antirheumatic agents are also known as disease modifying antirheumatic agents, these slow or stop the progress of rheumatic disease, If used early enough in the disease process, they work by inducing remission of disease.

Side effects include nausea, joint pain, swelling, toxicity, GIT distress, sore throat fever, liver damage, hair loss, sepsis, and retinal damage. 

Pharmacist should know that antirheumatic agents have a very high risk of toxicity.

Examples include methotrexate, chloroquine, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. 

That's it for musculoskeletal pharmacology (micro preview).


Pharmacist, CPHQ, CHQO, Quality Coordinator, Chemotherapy Preparation incharge. Graduated pharmacy school in 2009 I stood with my classmates as we recited the “Oath of a Pharmacist” in. There is one particular vow that stood out to me as we recited the Oath and I embrace this vow, “I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.” I love being a pharmacist because it allows me to use my knowledge, abilities, and talents to improve patient outcomes in the community hospital in which I am employed as the pharmacy clinical coordinator.

  • Avatar of Robert Ball Robert Ball says:

    Thanks for following me. I followed back. Please share my blog posts if you want.

  • Avatar of Obaid Obaid says:

    Thanks Robert. I will keep an eye on your writings for sure. You have a really interesting blog.
    Have a good day.

  • Avatar of Aurora Jennina Aurora Jennina says:

    Thanks for sharing, I’m a in my second year of pharmacy school, and these tips are really helpful.


  • Avatar of Alvin Matienzo Alvin Matienzo says:

    Is there a problem with me using Brufen for over 2 years?

  • Avatar of Obaid Obaid says:

    Hello Alvin,
    It is safe to use Brufen for longterm care if your doctor prescribed it, and you’re taking it in the regular acceptable doses.
    However you should monitor the side effects. Like, always take ibuprofen with food or a drink of milk to reduce the chance of an upset stomach. Do not take it on an empty stomach.

  • Avatar of Obaid Obaid says:

    Thanks Aurora, Glad it was helpful.

  • Great content and thank you for sharing your information. Also thank you for your recent follow 🙏🏼

  • Avatar of Obaid Obaid says:

    Thanks for your kind comment. I was glad to find your blog.
    Keep it up and happy new year.

  • Avatar of Pharmacy student Pharmacy student says:

    It can affect renal functions with long term use.

  • Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to reading more from you. Happy new year.

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