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But like all medicines, OTC pain relievers can cause side effects and may not be safe for everyone. So before you reach for one of the many bottles on the drugstore shelf, read on to learn about one type of OTC pain relievers -- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs -- and the benefits and risks of taking them. The other is acetaminophen Tylenol. NSAIDs are used to reduce fever and relieve mild aches and pains.
They can be used for everything from a mild toothache or headache to cramps. Many people also use NSAIDs to relieve the pain of arthritis or to treat the aches and pains of the common cold and flu. NSAIDs work by blocking enzymes in the body that help make chemicals that signal pain. When these enzymes are blocked, you feel less pain.
The side effects can vary a bit from drug to drug, is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory, but most commonly include:. Children and teenagers who are recovering from a viral infection such as the flu or chickenpox should not take aspirin. Naproxen sodium is not recommended for children under 2. Ibuprofen is considered safe for children 6 months and older in the right dose.
Because NSAIDs can affect blood pressure and blood clotting, they can also put you at risk for heart problems and stroke rheumatoid arthritis and vietnam vets you use more than directed or for longer than directe d.
Generally, people who have risk factors for heart disease may be at greater risk for having serious cardiovascular problems, is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory as strokes and heart attacks, from NSAID use. Although taking NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart problems, aspirin is given to many heart patients in low doses to help protect against heart attack and stroke. If you are taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack, talk to your doctor before taking another NSAID at the same time.
It may interfere with the beneficial effects of the aspirin. NSAIDs can also increase blood pressure, particularly if you already have high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure or are taking medicine to lower blood pressure, talk to your doctor to see which OTC pain reliever is right for you.
The most common side effect of NSAIDs is stomach problems, including upset stomach, nausea, and heartburn. Stomach ulcers and bleeding can also occur with long-term use, is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory.
Your risk of having a stomach problem increases the more often you take NSAIDs and the longer you take them. How we experience pain and is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory amount of pain relief we get from NSAIDs varies from person to person.
Pain Management Feature Stories. The side effects can vary a bit from drug to drug, but most commonly include: Are over age 60 Are pregnant or nursing Have three or more drinks of alcohol every day Have bleeding problems Have liver or kidney disease Have heart disease Take a medicine to thin the blood, such as warfarin Coumadin Take a medicine for high blood pressure Children and teenagers who are recovering from a viral infection such as the flu or chickenpox should not take aspirin. If you have a history of stomach problems, is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory, ask your doctor about is ibuprofen and anti inflammatory a drug that blocks stomach acid with the NSAID.