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Medication for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Your NYU Langone doctor may prescribe medication to help alleviate the symptoms, including pain and blood clots, of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, also known as NSAIDs, can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation caused by compressed nerves. Common NSAIDs are naproxen and ibuprofen. Side effects include nausea and a decreased appetite.

Muscle Relaxants

Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants to reduce muscle tension and improve mobility. Side effects include drowsiness and dry mouth.


Thrombolytic medications dissolve blood clots. They’re prescribed for people with venous or arterial thoracic outlet syndrome who have blood clots. 

Side effects may include fever, an allergic reaction, and severe bleeding. Your doctor reviews the risk of side effects with you before you take the medication.


Anticoagulants are blood thinners, and may help prevent new blood clots from forming after a thrombolytic medication dissolves them. If your doctor prescribes anticoagulants, he or she may monitor you closely, using regular blood tests, because these medications can cause bleeding.

Side effects may include urine and stool that darken or turn red and persistent headaches or stomachaches. Report any of these symptoms to your doctor.

Our Research and Education in Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in Adults

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.