Medicine Information

Over The Counter Pain Medication: How To Choose The Right Drugs


With the recent front-page news about the possible hazards of pain medications, you may be taking a look at your over-the-counter (or OTC) pain medications with a wary eye. While all drugs, including those you don't need a prescription for, can be dangerous, some basic knowledge can help you avoid the pitfalls for the pain relief you need.

Types of OTC pain medication:

The pain-relief aisle of any drug store can make it seem like there's an infinite number of pain-relief medications. But there are really only three types. Each type works in a different way and can cause different types of problems.

Aspirin: Aspirin blocks the activity of pain hormones called prostaglandins, which would otherwise send pain information to the brain. In addition, by blocking prostaglandins you reduce the pain and discomfort of inflammation (swelling and heat indicating immune function).

Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is found in drugs like Tylenol, as well as some generic OTC medications and in prescription pain-relief products. Acetaminophen travels through your bloodstream to the brain, reducing pain-related brain activity and fever. Because it doesn't work through the hormonal system, it doesn't do as good a job of reducing swelling and inflammation as the other two types of pain medication.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories: These are sometimes called NSAIDs (pronounced N-Saidz). This isn't a single chemical, like acetaminophen, but a group of chemicals including ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen, all of which block the production of prostaglandins, and thus pain and swelling. A number of NSAIDs are available over-the-counter, including brands like Aleve, Ibuprofen (generic) and Motrin; some newer NSAIDs, like Celebrex and Vioxx , need a prescription.

How To Take Aspirin Safely

In addition to blocking pain signals, aspirin blocks the production of blood clots. Strokes can be caused by blood clots blocking the brain's blood vessels and aspirin reduces the chance that such clots will form, so physicians will sometimes recommend a low dose of daily aspirin to prevent strokes in high-risk patients.

However, this also means that it's harder to stop bleeding if you're taking aspirin. People who are already on blood thinners (like Coumadin) should not take. Similarly, pregnant women have an increased risk of bleeding if they take aspirin, so if you need pain relief while pregnant, speak with your healthcare worker for a better options.

Aspirin can quickly lead to ulcer formation and potentially-dangerous gastric (stomach) bleeding. Enteric coating reduces the likelihood of harm, but even so, aspirin should not be taken for long periods of time without consulting a physician.

Some people are allergic to aspirin, and may experience a variety of symptoms (potentially serious) on taking it. If you're allergic to aspirin, you shouldn't take aspirin or NSAIDs without consulting a physician.

Lastly, children and teens with chicken pox, flu, or other viral illness should not be given aspirin (even children's aspirin) without first consulting a physician, as the combination of certain illnesses and aspirin can lead to a potentially fatal complication called Reye's syndrome.

How To Take Acetaminophen Safely:

Acetaminophen, taken in high doses or over long periods of time, can cause liver damage and, eventually, liver failure. If you think you may have taken too much, call a healthcare provider or poison control center right away.

Alcohol consumption can magnify the effect of acetaminophen on the liver. If you regularly have three or more alcoholic drinks per day, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen (or any other pain reliever).

Because of the potential for overdose, children should never be given "extra strength" acetaminophen products. Regular strength ones should be given at the stated doses for children or after speaking with a healthcare professional or pharmacist.

How To Take Over The Counter NSAIDs Safely:

NSAIDs slightly increase the risk of bleeding. People on blood thinners, pregnant or nursing women, and people at risk for internal bleeding should not take these products. They can also affect your liver's function and health and lead to gastrointestinal bleeding.

In order to avoid these effects, you shouldn't take more than one NSAID at a time or an NSAID with aspirin without first consulting a physician. If you're taking a multi-drug medication (for example, pills for relief of menstrual symptoms may include several different medications), make sure it doesn't already contain an NSAID if you're taking an NSAID separately. Lastly, pregnant and nursing women should speak with their healthcare provider before using an OTC NSAID.

Other Things To Think About:

If you find yourself taking any OTC pain reliever over a long period of time (several weeks), you should see your healthcare provider. The pain may indicate a problem that needs to be dealt with rather than masked, and there may be treatment that will take care of the problem, rather than merely covering the symptoms.

Adkinson: Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice, 6th ed., Ch.93, 2003

"Aspirin," Mosby's Drug Consult, Mosby, Inc, 2005

"Acetaminophen," Mosby's Drug Consult, Mosby, Inc, 2005

"NSAID," Mosby's Drug Consult, Mosby, Inc, 2005

"Ibuprofen," Mosby's Drug Consult, Mosby, Inc, 2005

Copyright (C) Shoppe.MD and Ian Mason, 2004-2005

Ian Mason, owner of Shoppe.MD, your source for Online Prescription Medications, drug information and drug forums.

Ian is a fat-to-fit student of health, weight loss, exercise, and several martial arts; maintaining several websites in an effort to help provide up-to-date and helpful information for other who share his interests in health of body and mind.


MORE RESOURCES:
Precision medicine: retrospective chart review and data analysis of 20 | IJGM  Dove Medical Press

Precision medicine: retrospective chart review and data analysis of 200 patients on dapsone combination therapy for chronic Lyme disease/post-treatment Lyme ...


Melissa Etheridge announces tour, new album 'The Medicine Show'  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge announced a new album and a slew of new tour dates. Grammy.com reported that Etheridge initially announced a few April ...


Civil War surgery simulation reveals medicine's role on battlefield  Kenosha News

About a dozen people gathered in a half circle around the surgical table set up on the carpeted floor of the Kenosha Civil War Museum during Sunday's snowy ...


This Simple Advance in Medicine Has Already Saved Nearly Half a Million Lives  ScienceAlert

In this day and age, breast cancer is no longer the death sentence it used to be. The latest estimates show that modern medicine has saved hundreds of ...


Turkey Patients left without medicine amid Turkey's economic woes  Al-Monitor

Turkey's economic turmoil, coupled with restrictive government regulations, has led pharmaceutical companies to curb supplies, with 20% of patients returning ...


Universal Medicine caught on camera  Northern Star

UNIVERSAL Medicine founder Serge Benhayon was at the centre of a program Channel 7 described as an "explosive global investigation".


The balancing act of an ethical tightrope walker: Artificial Intelligence in Medicine -  Innovation Origins

Preventive healing through AI can lead to a growing acceptance of 'improving' the human genome through non-medical interventions. That's a dilemma.


Extra Life holds Nintendo tournament benefiting WVU Medicine Children's Hospital  WBOY.com

'Extra Life' hold Nintendo Super Smash Brothers tournament benefiting WVU Medicine Children's Hospital held at Defense in Depth in Morgantown.


Performance Artists Benefit From Sports Medicine  Inside Science News Service

(Inside Science) -- Musicians and other performing artists aren't usually considered athletes. But both groups use their bodies to accomplish something that most ...


Sexual harassment in medicine  AAMCNews

Even before the #MeToo movement, national leaders in medicine began taking significant strides to transform the culture and curb unacceptable behavior.


Companies dealing with climate change, precision medicine could produce next multibaggers  Moneycontrol.com

Future multibaggers are going to come from those companies who solve climate change, or precision medicine to cure cancer. Water purification and anything ...


Mexico Ranks Sixth in Medicine Theft Worldwide  Prensa Latina

Mexico, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) Mexico ranks sixth in the sale of stolen medicines, the Association of Pharmaceutical Research Industries revealed today in a ...


Re: Seven days in medicine: 6-12 Feb 2019  The BMJ

Regarding the "Cancer screening" section of 7 days in medicine. Will the introduction of lung cancer screening in areas with the highest death rates from lung ...


You and your poo: Why fecal medicine could be the next big buzz  CBC.ca

This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every ...


Polk woman arrested again for practicing medicine without license  WFLA

On Valentine's Day, deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office took 39-year-old Jesusadelaida "Jesse" Lopez back into custody after receiving information ...


FAMU partners with Ross University School of Medicine to increase physician diversity  WTXL ABC 27

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - With the goal of driving diversity among U.S. doctors, FAMU and Ross University School of Medicine have announced a new ...


'Leading the Charge' on Racism, Sexism, Activism in Medicine  Medscape

Emergency medicine doctor and 'public health guru' Esther Choo on racism, sexism, inequity, and inclusion in medicine.


Global Dermatological Medicine Market Insight Report 2018 – Allergan Inc., PharmaDerm, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Barrier Therapeutics, Inc  Industry News Network

The global “Dermatological Medicine” market report describes a systematic image of the Dermatological Medicine market by utilizing various strategies, methods ...


Evidence-Based Medicine Shouldn't Mean Treating Everyone the Same  HBR.org Daily

Evidence-based medicine now routinely defines the standard of care for many conditions. This approach mandates that new information, gleaned from ...


Record numbers of Indian students are heading abroad to study medicine  Study International News

There are a number of reasons why students from India are looking to study medicine abroad, and it's not because the quality of education in the country has ...


Video shows thief taking boy’s $40,000 cancer medicine off porch, mother says  FOX 31 Denver

LAS VEGAS -- The mother of a child with a rare cancer is scrambling to replace his chemotherapy medicine after someone swiped it off the front porch of their ...


Uganda seeks China's cooperation in promotion, integration of traditional medicine  Global Times

Uganda's minister of state for health on Friday said the country will draw lessons from China on integration of traditional and complementary medicine into ...


Novel tools such as Machine Learning and precision medicine could help treat patients with tuberculosis  Times Now

In addition, the tools will reduce some of the side effects of overtreatment and can be used in the detection of other diseases like autoimmune diseases and ...


Blackface is just a symptom of American medicine’s racist past  Washington Post

The study of medicine is rife with racist assumptions and experiments that still shape health outcomes today.


Regenerative Medicine Market 2019: Detailed Analysis of Production Demand and Consumption Growth Rat  PharmiWeb.com

Regenerative medicine is a process where body uses its own system or at times uses foreign biological material to create cells or rebuild tissues and organs.


NHS Announces Workforce Plan For Genomics, AI And Digital Medicine  Forbes

The Topol Review has been announced, detailing how the UK National Health *Service's* clinical workforce will deliver healthcare's digital future with ...


A Better Pill—Internal Delivery Devices May Help Patients Take Their Medicine  Scientific American

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the ...


Travel - The birthplace of modern medicine  BBC News

Padua, Italy, was at the forefront of a shift to scientific consciousness that allowed the real picture of human anatomy to emerge for the very first time.


Precision medicine: huge promise, high hurdles  Healthcare IT News

At the HIMSS19 Precision Medicine Summit, John Halamka and other healthcare leaders described how policy, technology, clinical processes and patient ...


Medicine's response to America's largest public-health crisis  Harvard Magazine

Medicine's response to America's largest public-health crisis.


Patients get preview of new Excela family medicine office in Mt. Pleasant  Tribune-Review

Excela Health's 'medical mall' approach to providing ambulatory care will see its newest expression Monday when patients begin arriving for appointments at ...


Five solutions offered for achieving gender equality in medicine and science  Science Daily

In a new review, researchers identify five myths that continue to perpetuate gender bias and offer five strategies for improving not only the number of women in ...


Complementary medicine use remains hidden from conventional medicine providers  Science Daily

Research reveals that 1 in 3 complementary medicine (CM) users do not disclose their CM use to their medical providers, posing significant direct and indirect ...


Interpersonal Medicine Already Exists | Medpage Today  MedPage Today

A commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Beyond Evidence-Based Medicine" received much well-deserved criticism for not only ...


Is precision medicine really the best approach to improving health?  STAT

The only way to gauge its true value is with free and open exchange of ideas between those who question its value and those who believe in it.


Ross University School of Medicine & Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Partner to Increase Physician Diversity in the US  Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 15, 2019--African Americans make up only six percent 1 of U.S. physicians . With the goal of driving diversity ...


Global Gamma Oryzanol Market Insights Report 2019 – Huadong Medicine Group Wufeng Pharmaceutical, TSUNO, Okayasu Shorten  Industry News Network

The global “Gamma Oryzanol” market research report comprises the description of all the important points concerning the Gamma Oryzanol market. It provides ...


Mobile pharmacy to offer free medicine  Rocky Mount Telegram

From Contributed Reports. Saturday, February 16, 2019. NC MedAssist will hold a Mobile Free Pharmacy Event on March 1 in Tarboro. The event, which is in ...


Laughter may be best medicine -- for brain surgery: Effects of electrical stimulation of cingulum bundle  Science Daily

Neuroscientists have discovered a focal pathway in the brain that when electrically stimulated causes immediate laughter, followed by a sense of calm and ...


Painful breast and ovary massages: A look inside Australia's most bizarre 'cult', Universal Medicine.  Mamamia

Serge Benhayon Sunday Night: On tonight's episode of Sunday Night, journalist Matt Doran investigates Serge Benhayon's bizarre cult Universal Medicine.


Mushrooms as Medicine? Psychedelics May Be Next Breakthrough Treatment  Healthline

From treating depression to helping manage alcohol addiction, researchers say legal medical “magic mushrooms” have many potential benefits.


'No More Paying For The Rich World's Medicine' - White House  Intellectual Property Watch

The Trump administration yesterday made some firm statements about reducing health care and drug prices for American consumers and making costs more ...


MoH refutes 'shortage' of two medicines in Mubarak Hospital - ARAB TIMES - KUWAIT NEWS  Arab Times Kuwait English Daily

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: Ministry of Health has denied the news article published in Al-Anba daily on Friday, Feb 15 concerning the shortage of medicines ...


Bahrain News: Man charged with practising medicine illegally  Gulf Digital News

A MAN has been charged with illegally practising medicine in Manama. The 28-year-old Asian was caught by Hoora police red-handed on Saturday examining ...


Porch pirate steals 14-year-old boy's chemotherapy medicine  KUTV 2News

LAS VEGAS, NV (WKRC) - A 14-year-old boy in Nevada is sending out a plea to the public after a porch pirate stole his chemotherapy medicine. Gage Haynes ...


Ask Dr. Nandi: Is that cold medicine in your cabinet raising your blood pressure?  WXYZ Detroit

If you're fighting a cold, you may want to skip over-the-counter cold medicines. The American Heart Association warns that some may have a negative impact on ...


Exercise is medicine: Make resolutions last  The Criterion

Every January there are individuals who proclaim “new year, new me,” and set resolutions for the year. Oftentimes these are to get into shape, lose weight, eat ...


Using complementary medicines? Make sure to tell your doctor  9Coach

A third of complementary medicine users don't tell their doctor about it, according to Australian review in...


Which Is The Best Path To Medicine: MD Vs. DO  Forbes

The majority of physicians in America are MDs (Doctor of Medicine), but a growing number of medical students are choosing to go the route of DO (Doctor of ...


ISABS: Personalized Medicine Conference With Nobel Laureates to Be Held in Split, Croatia  PRNewswire

ZAGREB, Croatia and WASHINGTON, February 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS), Mayo Clinic and St.


Blackface photo reopens long history of bigotry in medicine  The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's yearbook page wasn't the only thing that disgusted Monifa Bandele. She was especially ...


The Top Biotech and Medicine Advances to Expect in 2019  Singularity Hub

2019 will likely see gene drives used in the wild, a universal flu vaccine, further advance of brain-machine interfaces, and more.


Pharmacist uses snowmobile to deliver medicine for snowed-in customers  CNN

With temperatures in the danger zone and snow blocking driveways, a Michigan pharmacist got creative in delivering prescriptions to her customers.


Nevada porch pirate steals 14-year-old boy's chemotherapy medicine  WKRC TV Cincinnati

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (WKRC) - A 14-year-old boy in Nevada is sending out a plea to the public after a porch pirate stole his chemotherapy medicine. Gage Haynes ...


What flu bug? Clarkson, Pflugerville dish out tough medicine in playoff win  Alice Echo News-Journal

COLLEGE STATION - The toughest foe that Pflugerville forward London Clarkson faced this week didn't come on a double-team or from help-side defense.


Man steals cancer medicine for 14-year-old boy from family's front porch  WTOC

A porch pirate snatched Gage Hayne's cancer medicine minutes after it was delivered on his mother's porch.


HKO-WHL-Sums-Calgary-Medicine Hat  Westport News

Hitmen 5, Tigers 3. First Period. Recommended Video. Created with Sketch. An Error Has Occurred. Signs. Speed. Normal. Quality. Auto. Quality. Speed. 0.25.


The Medicine Shoppe closes Pottstown location | News  The Mercury

POTTSTOWN — The closure of a local pharmacy that has stood at the corner of Beech and North Charlotte streets for 30 years can be chalked up to the ...


Former Mapleton Physician Surrenders License Following Investigation By Iowa Board Of Medicine  1380 KCIM

The Iowa Board of Medicine has levied multiple penalties against a former Mapleton physician following an investigation into alleged misconduct.


Lifetime risk and multimorbidity of non-communicable diseases and disease-free life expectancy in the general population: A population-based cohort study  PLoS Blogs

M. Arfan Ikram & colleagues assess the burden and preventability of co-occurring non-communicable diseases in the population-based Rotterdam Study.


Spirit Halloween donates more than $73K to WVU Medicine Children's Child Life Program  WVU Medicine

Representatives from Spirit Halloween costume retail stores across West Virginia recently presented the Child Life Program at WVU Medicine Children's with a ...


Kathy Bates Blames Cold Medicine for AARP Awards Snafu  Hollywood Reporter

When presenting Shirley MacLaine with the Achievement Career Award at the Movies for Grownups Awards, which will air Friday, Kathy Bates veered wildly off ...


Regenerative Medicine  PracticalPainManagement.com

A look at what cellular products may bring to the future of pain care, including for chronic knee pain, multiple sclerosis, CRPS, and sports injuries.


Penn Medicine changes design for $1.5 billion Pavilion to optimize patient room layouts  The Daily Pennsylvanian

The team behind the $1.5 billion construction of the Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania recently altered its design plan to optimize the ...


Regenerative Medicine Market at a Highest CAGR of 30.0% and Dominated by Merck, Pfizer, Integra LifeSciences, MiMedx, AstraZeneca, Roche, Stryker, Medtronic - Press Release  Digital Journal

Among othersThe global regenerative medicine market is highly fragmented and the major players have used various strategies such as number of therapies, ...


UC San Diego School of Medicine and Leica Establish Center of Excellence in Microscopy  UC San Diego Health

University of California San Diego, in a collaborative agreement with Leica Microsystems, Inc., hosted a signing ceremony to inaugurate a new Leica ...


8 pioneering black women in science, technology and medicine  Mother Nature Network

Black women's contributions to society have often been overlooked, yet these pioneers in science, technology and medicine have changed history.


Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine  Drovers Magazine

Several years ago, a veterinarian presenting at a Denver conference made a funny, but perhaps prophetic, observation. He noted that two key goals in ...


Dental Sleep Medicine Market Demand : Industry Development Trends by Size, Share, Growth and Opportunity 2019 - Press Release  Digital Journal

The report covers every single angle in market structure analysis to show how different segments of the global Dental Sleep Medicine market are growing in ...


Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States, 2019  Annals of Internal Medicine

In October 2018, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to approve the Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States, ...


Father says he traveled to Canada for son's medicine that would cost $53K in US | TheHill  The Hill

A Pennsylvania man whose son's medicine isn't covered by their family's health insurance plan says he has been traveling to Canada multiple times per year to ...


Help us honor the La Crosse area's top nurses  La Crosse Tribune

Nurses provide the heart of health care in the La Crosse region.


Transcending Medicine  Psychiatric Times

Truth be told, gender identity variations are not psychiatric disorders. That said, if you were there, what would you have done?


Global Paediatric Sports Medicine Market 2019 - 3M Company, Breg, Inc., Donjoy, Inc., Tornier, Inc.  TheFinanceDeck

Paediatric specialist treat the unique sports-related medical needs of children. Sports injuries may have a significant impact on daily activities of a person and at ...


No-deal Brexit plans prioritise medicines over food, MPs told  The Guardian

Health secretary says contingency plans in place to ensure continuity for all NHS supplies.


FDA warns of common blood pressure medicine shortage due to recalls  CNN

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning of a shortage of a class of drugs used by millions to treat high blood pressure. The drugs known as ARBs, ...


Medicine from the farm alleviates symptoms in children and adults  Wink News

We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But what if you can't afford the apple … or any other vegetable? One in four American children ...


With human drugs, a startup hopes to deliver precision medicine to dogs  STAT

A Silicon Valley company wants to offer precision medicine to dogs by recommending targeted therapies that are normally used to treat humans.


Cost of living in Sydney pushing many to limits but NSW election offers little hope  ABC News

David was once a high-flying banker with a beachside home, now he says he's lost everything and spends almost three quarters of his income on rent — this is ...


Traditional medicine on life support - Asean Plus  The Star Online

TAIPEI: Traditional medicine store owner Gu Cheng-pu knows her dispensary can only stay open as long as her ailing father-in-law lives, their careers hostage ...


Blood-Pressure Medicine Will Be First Product for New Generic Drug Venture  The Wall Street Journal

A new venture to supply generic medicines says it will start with a blood-pressure drug that has been hard to get. ProvideGx, the new generic-drug venture, will ...


Acupressure Is Good Medicine for Breast Cancer Survivors  U.S. News & World Report

By Maureen Salamon HealthDay Reporter. (HealthDay). THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer survivors struggling with common, ...


home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas
© 2006