Senior Scene: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers

The best way to take your over-the-counter pain reliever? Seriously.

Over-the-counter pain relievers/fever reducers (the kind you can buy without a prescription) are safe and effective when used as directed. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain conditions or taking specific medicines. They can cause problems in people who take too much, or use them for a longer period of time than the “drug facts” label recommends. That is why it is so important to follow label directions carewfully. If you have questions, talk to a pharmacist.    

What are pain relievers/fever reducers? There are two categories of over-the-counter pain reliever/fever reducers: acetaminophens and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  Acetaminophens are used to relieve headaches, muscle aches and fever. They are also found in many other medicines, such as cough syrup and cold and sinus medicines. OTC NSAIDs are used to help relieve pain and reduce fever. NSAIDs include aspirin, naproxen, ketoprofen, and ibuprofen, and are often found in many medicines taken for colds, sinus pressure and allergies.

These products, when used occasionally and taken as directed, are safe and effective. Read the labels of all your over-the-counter medicines so you are aware of the correct recommended dosage. If a measuring tool is provided with your medicine, use it as directed.

See you in two weeks, Chris