Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Do I Use for Pain?

Be careful what you take for that ache, not all over the counter (OTC) pain meds should be treated the same.

There are two basic choices: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include ibuprofen and naproxen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) and aspirin. Acetaminophen is best for a fever. NSAIDs are best for pain due to inflammation like joint and muscle aches, headaches and cramps.

On occasion it may be ok to take two pills at once, but try to follow the label's directions. High doses of NSAIDs can cause ulcers and kidney damage and raise blood pressure. Acetaminophen is toxic to the liver. Do not take more than 4,000 mg a day. Taking 3-4 aspirin will not make your pain go away quicker or easier, and if it is, it's all in your mind. That extra pill is causing you liver damage.

-B

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