Ask The Doctor: 09/07
Costochondritis, an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone, is a frustrating condition for both the patient and the physician. Its cause is generally unknown and its treatment often has disappointing results. Medications that have proven effective in treating costochondritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, specifically a category of medicines called tricyclic antidepressants, if pain is making it difficult to sleep at night, or muscle relaxants, which can also help ease pain.