Beware of Long-Term Effects of Pain Reliever Use

Many people manage common aches and pains, fevers, and other minor health concerns by reaching for over-the-counter meds such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen (most know this as Tylenol) helps with all kinds of pain – toothache, headache, muscle soreness, and fever. Ibuprofen (most know this as Advil or Motrin) is a NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and helps to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. When taken as directed, these over-the-counter medications can be safe and effective. However, there can be side effects.

Some of the more mild side effects can include indigestion and gut issues, dizziness, and drowsiness. The most serious side effect of taking too much acetaminophen is liver damage. Too much ibuprofen can lead to kidney damage. It’s important to talk to your health professional about any use of these pain relievers. Be sure to use only as directed.

It’s always recommended to find the source of the pain that causes you to reach for such pain relievers. Getting to the pain source and making corrections can avoid the ill effects of long-term pill popping.

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