Pain Relievers

Written by Serena Berger
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There are three main types of pain relievers: acetaminophen, anti-inflammatories, and narcotics. Both acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories are over-the-counter products and can be purchased without a doctor's prescription. Narcotics, on the other hand, can only be acquired with a doctor's prescription, in which case you are best off relying on your doctor's sound judgment.

Commonly Found Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen is a non-aspirin pain reliever. As such, it is unlikely to cause an upset stomach. Acetaminophen pain relievers can be used to relieve pain from insect stings and abrasions. Once you have taken 1000 milligrams, often in the form of two extra-strength tablets, you are unlikely to get any additional benefit from more medicine. In fact, acetaminophen is dangerous in large doses, so you should only take the recommended amount.

Another common pain reliever is aspirin, which is classified as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that taking aspirin on a regular basis reduces the tendency for blood to clot and can therefore reduce the chance of stroke or heart disease. Since aspirin can upset the stomach, it is best to take it with food. If you have ulcers or are taking another blood thinning medication, it may be advisable to steer clear of using aspirin for pain relief.

Ibuprofen is another anti-inflammatory medication commonly found in pharmacies. It is not an aspirin, but people that are allergic to aspirins may also react to ibuprofen. The anti-inflammatory effect of ibuprofen makes it useful for treating tendinitis. It is also useful for treating the pain associated with bruises and sprains.


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