Thursday, July 2, 2015

Top 3 Most Dangerous Pain Relievers

Over the counter pain medications are frequently used in the United States. In fact, there was $1,750,600,000 spent on over the counter prescription medication last year. (1)

The fact that these pain relievers are common does not make them safe. Every year more than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized due to OTC complications with 16,000 deaths annually as a result of these medications.

So What are the Top 3 Most Dangerous Ones?

1) Acetaminophen (aka tylenol)
This medication can cause liver, brain and kidney damage when taken in staggered overdose by taking more than recommended overtime. In addition, prolonged use is responsible for 50% of ALL cases of acute liver failure.

2) Non-steriodal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs aka advil, aleve, ibuprofen, naproxen)
Long term use of these medications can cause gastrointestinal disorders including severe and often fatal gastric bleeding, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure. In addition, taking these with alcohol can increase your risk factors for gastrointestinal bleeding and perforated ulcers.

3) Aspirin or acetylsalicylate (also considered an NSAID)
This medication is actually an NSAID and long term use, even the buffered or coated variety, can increase your risk factors of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Aspirin also has serious side effects for young children and even young adults including swelling of the brain and liver which is called Reye's Syndrome. This syndrome can lead to death.

Be careful not to overdose and don't underestimate the danger of OTCs, because when you combine tylenol with acetominophen and have a prescription with NSAIDs you can have TOXIC levels of pain relievers that can cause lasting damage and possibly even cause an overdose that can lead to death.

If you want safe alternatives, call my office to setup a free consultation (we also provide phone consultations) to talk more about safe pain management. AlignLife of Peoria can be reached at 309-689-6200 or


(1)Annual Sales of the leading OTC pain relief products in the US in JUly 2014 in million US dollars.