OTC pain medications: guides users should know

When suffering from a headache or other pains, many people are immediately take some OTC  pain medicines. Because for most people, OTC medicines are all that are needed to relieve pain or reduce fever.

However, choosing a right OTC medicines from dozen of boxes on the pharmacy shelves seems to be a confused task for you if you do not know how they works thoroughly. Therefore, knowing how many different types of pain medications are available and which is suitable for you case will make the choice more easier.

Every pain suffered people are all expecting choosing the right over-the-counter pain medication will be a simple process.

The following instructions are expected being helpful for you:

Question (Q): How many types of OTC pain medications are available?

Answer (A): There are two main types are popularly available. The first type is acetaminophen (for example: Tylenol). The second one is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including:

  • Aspirin (for example: Bayer, St. Joseph)
  • Ibuprofen (for example: Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (for example: Aleve)

Some products contain both acetaminophen and aspirin (brand names: Excedrin Extra Strength, Excedrin Migraine, Vanquish).

Aspirin is one of the most popular OTC pain medications

Q: How do OTC pain medicines work or what are their effects?

A: OTC pain relievers benefit on pain managment, fever reduction and inflammatory fighting. In general, OTC pain medicines are all fine for the two first effects. However, there are some the most unique for each.

Q: So, what are the OTC medicines usage in more detailed?

A: Although all OTC pain medicines are considered to reduce fever, diminish pain and are anti-inflammatory, they can work its full effects for specific cases. For example, acetaminophen or aspirin are the best choice for sore muscles caused by exercising; If you suffer from arthritis or gout, take an NSAID for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Q: My child is suffering from headache and fever, is there special notice?

A: yes, for a child, it is recommended to choose acetaminophen or an NSAID for reducing fever. You should also take advices from pharmacist at best.

Q: What are potential side effects from use of OTC pain medications?

A: Side effects with acetaminophen are rare. However, liver damage can occur if you drink alcohol and take acetaminophen.

NSAIDs may cause upset stomach. They can also cause increased bruising or risk of bleeding in the stomach. When taken regularly, they may cause kidney damage. NSAIDs may also make high blood pressure worse.

Q: I have liver or kidney disease, should I be able to take at the same time NSAIDs ?

A: This matter belongs to case of contraindications. In fact, it is essential to have a prior talk with doctors before taking NSAIDs, specially in use of aspirins. Additionally, in specific cases of you:

  • Are allergic to aspirin or other pain relievers
  • Have 3 or more drinks that contain alcohol every day
  • Have bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or have peptic (stomach) ulcers
  • Have liver or kidney disease
  • Have heart disease
  • Take blood-thinning medicine or have a bleeding disorder

Q: What the last important instruction will be?

A: Last but not least, talk with your family doctor or pharmacists or physician about your confusion of what type are best for your medical conditions. He or she knows your complete history and can give you the best advice about the types and dose.

Above are just suggestions collected from some medical sites, they play as preferential sources, so  before deciding to take any OTC pain medicines, you should ask your doctor for the best direction.

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