Millions of Americans use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers for a variety of reasons – headaches, muscle or joint pain, pain related to an illness or chronic condition, temporarily reduce a fever, and more. Far too many people abuse these OTC pain relievers and take them for everything or as a part of their daily regime.
But are we aware of some of the dangers of using these ITC pain relievers too frequently?
There are four major types of OTC – aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve).
Aspirin has been in use for over 2,000, but it wasn’t called aspirin until 1899, when Bayer named it. It is part of a group of drugs known as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug), and used not only for pain, but to reduce swelling and inflammation. It’s long been a favorite to help relieve a toothaches as American Indians used to chew willow bark (the original source of the main ingredient in aspirin).
Over the past couple of decades, aspirin has been recommended to improve heart health, circulation and reduce the possibility of heart attacks. Today, many doctors recommend taking a low-dose aspirin (less than 100mg per tablet) a day for heart health. My wife and I both take a low-dose aspirin (81mg) daily as recommended by our doctor.