elderly woman looking concerned reading the label on her medicine bottle

Know the Dangers of Over the Counter Pain Medication

You better believe it: non-prescription pain relief dangers are REAL.

In fact, over 16,500 Americans die each year from over-use of medicines they probably bought at a grocery store.

Furthermore, an additional 103,000 people (adults and children) are hospitalized for complications resulting from these “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs). Medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Do non-prescription pain relief dangers affect everyone?

Yes. Contrary to popular belief, NSAIDs are equally harmful to everyone. Your age doesn’t matter. Neither does your ethnicity. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re a man or a woman.

Because the dangers can impact absolutely anyone, more and more doctors are encouraging their patients to consider alternative remedies. Even people living with long-term back pain or chronic pain conditions like osteoarthritis, neuropathy, fibromyalgia or carpal tunnel – they can all benefit from less pill popping and more all-natural pain relief strategies.

How can a person avoid the risks of over-the-counter drugs?

Simple. Just take a look at the warnings listed on any product label.

The FDA requires manufacturers to place those labels on every over-the-counter drug. They’re there to alert you to potential risks.

In addition, check out the Drug Facts box printed on every bottle or box. It will clearly state the dangers you might risk if you (1) exceed the recommended number of daily doses; (2) combine NSAIDs with one another; or (3) take them when drinking alcohol.

What are some of the non-prescription pain relief dangers linked to NSAID abuse?

A little more online research will introduce you to a lot of possible risks. Here are just a few:

Stomach and intestinal ulcers can develop because NSAIDs thin the lining of your digestive organs. As a result, the medicine can actually burn a blister-like sore right through that lining.

Blood changes can happen, especially with aspirin, because once inside the body it damages red blood cells. In addition, aspirin thins the blood, so it’s particularly dangerous to anyone taking a prescription blood thinner.

High blood pressure is another potential problem. One study found that men who regularly use over-the-counter pain relievers are 38% more likely to develop high blood pressure than those using no painkillers.

Liver damage is linked to acetaminophen (Tylenol). In fact, this NSAID causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined. And it’s the most common cause of acute liver failure in the nation.

You Can Protect Yourself.

Just use common sense and follow these tips:

Read before you swallow. Consumer research has found that 1 in 3 Americans never bothers to read the label instructions on over-the-counter drugs. Even if you do, those instructions may not tell you everything you need to know. So always refer to the detailed information sheet folded inside the box. And check with your healthcare provider before using any medication.

Never self-prescribe. If your individual pain tolerance is low, you may feel you need a higher than recommended dosage. If you suffer with a severe pain condition, then the recommended dose may not give you all the relief you need. The point is, your wish to stop the pain can easily tempt you to take more than you should, more often than you should. Don’t fall into that trap. Never use a higher than recommended dosage. And never take the medication more often than recommended.

Don’t combine NSAIDs with alcohol. Alcohol can cause stomach and intestinal irritation. So can aspirin. Put them to together and you double your risk for ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Research also suggests that if you consume three or more alcoholic drinks per day while using acetaminophen, you’re at increased risk for severe liver damage.

Whenever Possible, Opt for Herbal.

Today you can choose from a number of effective and affordable natural remedies for pain relief. Consider, for example, all-herbal Premiere’s Pain Spray Mist or Pain Spray Roll-On. Both pain-away formulas can temporarily relieve common aches and pains. A favorite nationwide for nearly 30 years, the Spray Mist and Roll-On can offer fast relief without side effects.

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