Best over-the-counter painkillers
Different painkillers work better for different types of pain, and some painkillers might not work for some people. For example, children under 16 should never be given aspirin except on medical advice. Some painkillers are generally available in drug and grocery stores. Others are available in pharmacies. Some painkillers are only available with a prescription.
Seek medical advice if you are unsure about which painkiller is right for you. You should only take the dose recommended on the package or as advised by a doctor or medical professional. You should never take more than the recommended dose. The four most common over-the-counter medicines are aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve.
Aspirin is the original medicine for all aches and pains. It is often referred to as a wonder drug because it can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Aspirin is a good painkiller. You can take it for headaches, toothaches, fever, general pain, and the common cold. It is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Aspirin reduces swelling and inflammation. A common side effect of aspirin is an upset stomach.
Like aspirin, ibuprofen is an NSAID. Its pain-relieving abilities are similar to aspirin's. Ibuprofen is good for arthritis, fever, headaches, and general pain. It is also good for the common cold. Since it is an NSAID like aspirin, it can cause an upset stomach. An example of ibuprofen is Advil.
Naproxen is another type of NSAID. It is good for muscle aches and pains following a workout. Naproxen is also recommended for general pain and to ease the pain of gout. Naproxen users can suffer from an upset stomach. An example of naproxen is Aleve.
Unlike the three above-mentioned drugs, acetaminophen is not an NSAID. So it won't upset the stomach, but it also won't reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen is often recommended to treat pain from ulcers and other stomach problems. An example of acetaminophen is Tylenol.
Although painkillers are effective weapons against pain, they should be taken sensibly. Abuse of these drugs can cause drug dependence. Too much of these medicines can cause kidney damage or liver damage.
How to choose the right OTC
You should know what you need before going to the store. The most important thing is to read the label of the drug. The ingredients and the active amount of the ingredients should be listed on the label. It should also state the intended use of the medicine. The information on the label can help you make a choice between a generic and a brand name OTC drug. Heed the warnings on the label. They might have warnings pertaining to your disease; for example, it might say don't take this medicine if you have diabetes. The medicine can also have bad side effects. Ask the pharmacist for help if you don't understand something or if you are not sure about which medicine to get. Pharmacists are happy to help you.