Home Health Surprising side-effects of painkillers – Are they safe for your health?

Surprising side-effects of painkillers – Are they safe for your health?


Have you ever wondered what is there in your medicine box? If you’re following the herd of majority of Americans, it is most likely to have at least a kind of over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. In fact, according to a research, in the United States of America, more than $2.5 billion are spent every year on buying non-prescription drugs. You might not ever give a second thought before taking them during a back pain or a headache, but you should realize the simple fact that there are always certain risks associated with pain relieving medicines, especially when you take them too often.

President of Pain Specialists of Greater Chicago, Scott E. Glaser says that some of the most commonly used kinds of OTC painkillers are the anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen which are sold under different brand names. There are some situations when you put yourself at risk when you take such drugs in a not-so-proper manner. Check out the health impacts.

Acetaminophen and the possibilities of damaging your liver

One of the most common risks of painkillers is damaging your liver due to the component called acetaminophen. Although it is true that acetaminophen has been used for many years now and overall the component is pretty safe, yet liver toxicity might occur when you use more than 4000 miligrams in a single day. That would mean 500 mg pill taken 8 times in a day. Liver damage might even occur at low ranges for all those who have a habit of drinking alcohol and for those who already have some pre-existing liver problem like hepatitis C.

NSAIDs and the possibilities of ulcers

If you take naproxen or ibuprofen, that won’t pose a huge risk to the functioning of your liver as with the case of acetaminophen but it might cause some damage to the lining of the stomach which can cause blood loss, stomach pains and also ulcers of different kinds. Such is also the case with aspirin, which is associated to NSAIDs and has some similar properties. If you use aspirin with naproxen and ibuprofen, your stomach will be at a huge risk. Unfortunately, such effects might increase the risk of gastritis too.

NSAIDs and the improper functioning of kidneys

Although this is rare, there are some people who could run the risk of suffering from kidney issues from taking ibuprofen or naproxen. A severe complication yet less common complication which is associated with such medications is failure of kidneys which occur more commonly among patients who suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes.

NSAIDs and the higher possibilities of a miscarriage

As per a research done by Canadian Medical Association, it was found out that the women who took NSAIDs during the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy are more vulnerable to miscarriages. The researchers are of the opinion that such drugs might have an impact of the levels of prostaglandins and hormones which might be vital in inducing labor. In case you’re pregnant or you’re planning to conceive, you should avoid such medications or have a good consultation with your doctor.

Hence before you take such drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, prescription codeine UK, you should always speak to your doctor so that you don’t suffer from their serious side-effects and spoil the condition of your health.

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.