Over-The-Counter Pain Killers are used generously in many households but how much do you really know about what these drugs do for you?
Pain Killers: Ibuprofen (NSAID)
If you have ever taken ibuprofen, you know it works for just about every minor ache or pain you have. However, not many know of how dangerous it can be if it is not used properly. Among many possible side effects, if taken too much, this pain killer can cause extensive damage to your kidneys and liver as well as stomach bleeding. An overdose of this drug may even be fatal. To ensure that this does not happen carefully read the label and follow the directions exactly. Do not take more than recommended or for an extensive period of time. If you pain persists, see your doctor.
As with all medications, this pain killer has side effects as well. Look out for any of the following symptoms and see your doctor if they happen to you.
- abdominal pain
- hearing changes (ringing in your ears)
- mental or mood changes
- swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- unexplained weight gain
Not every body should take ibuprofen for risk of further complications. If you belong to any of these categories, speak with your doctor before taking this medication.
- Avid tobacco smoker
- You have had any cardiovascular diseases
- You have high blood pressure
- You have prior bleeding of the stomach or intestines
- You are pregnant
- You are a heavy drinker
- You have a blood clotting disorder
Pain Killer: Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
Tylenol is a pain killer for mild to moderate pain and a fever reducer just like ibuprofen. The only difference in usage is that Tylenol does not reduce swelling. Unlike Ibuprofen, Tylenol has little to no usual side effects. However, this does not mean that it is not a dangerous drug. The Acetaminophen (main active ingredient) in Tylenol can result in extensive and even fatal liver damage if taken too much. An overdose of Tylenol can kill you immediately, or slowly after recovery from the incident if enough acetaminophen is consumed. Tylenol also has recently been linked to three types of serious skin conditions according to the FDA.
Watch out for these symptoms of skin disease when you are taking Tylenol or other products containing acetaminophen:
- Skin irritation
If you begin to notice these symptoms stop taking the medication and see a doctor immediately. These skin disorders have been known to be fatal if serious enough.
Another tip to the wise about Tylenol and which is true of all pain killers, check the ingredients of all the medications you are taking. Do not take two medications that contain Acetaminophen. This may cause you to unintentionally over dose on the drug.
Do not take this pain killer if you have previous liver problems or are a heavy drinker. Taking Tylenol in combination with these problems could cause extensive damage to your liver.
The best way to keep your body healthy is to pay close attention to the labels and keep yourself informed on all the medications you are taking. Look for possible reactions, side effects, and dosages. Inform your doctor of all medications you are taking.