Use Caution with Pain Relievers
(NAPS) -- Pain relievers, when used correctly, are safe and effective. Millions of people use these medicines everyday. Not using them according to the label directions can have serious consequences.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines list all their active ingredients on the package.
For prescription drugs, the leaflet that comes with your prescription lists the active ingredients contained in the medicine. Many OTC medicines sold for different uses have the same active ingredient. Also, active ingredients in OTC medicines can be ingredients in prescription medicines. For example, a cold-and-cough remedy may have the same active ingredient as a headache remedy or a prescription pain reliever.
There are basically two types of OTC pain relievers. Some contain acetaminophen and others contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines are used to relieve the minor aches and pains associated with:
These medicines are also used to treat migraine headaches, and to reduce fever.
Acetaminophen is a very common pain reliever and fever reducer. Taking too much of this active ingredient can lead to liver damage. The risk for liver damage may be increased if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks while using acetaminophen-containing medicines.
NSAIDs are common pain relievers and fever reducers. Examples of OTC NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen. There are some factors that can increase your risk for stomach bleeding:
if you are over 60
taking prescription blood thinners
have previous stomach ulcers
other bleeding problems
NSAIDs can also cause reversible damage to the kidneys. The risk of kidney damage may increase in:
people who are over 60
people who have high blood pressure, heart disease or pre-existing kidney disease
people who are taking a diuretic
Date: 2014-12-29; view: 859