Let's Talk About Pain Blog

Over the Counter Medications like Aspirin and Acetaminophen Are Drugs!

Each year Americans die from overdosing on over the counter medications, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium. Many assume that because they can buy a medication without a prescription that it is somehow safer.

Like medications you get with a prescription, these medications have serious side effects and can cause death. Some of the side effects of ibuprofen and naproxen sodium (also called NSAIDS) include bleeding in your stomach and intestines and damage to your esophagus, Acetaminophen can cause liver damage and failure. Taking these medications with more than three drinks a day or with certain other medications increases the risk of side effects and overdose.

Pay attention to the warning labels and inserts on these medications. Talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and educate yourself about potential interactions between your medications and NSAIDS. Treat all medications with respect. Often their capacity to help is matched by their potential to hurt. 

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