ExtremePR (Pain Relieving lotion)
Dangers of Oral Pain Medications
Many of the oral pain medications recommended by doctors and sold over-the-counter, including Tylenol, ibuprofen, and aspirin, can cause serious side effects, which, in some cases, have been fatal. The common classifications of pain medications include:
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), drugs such as Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen, naproxen, salicylates (aspirin), and Cox-2 inhibitors
- Acetaminophen (Paracetamol), the active ingredient in Tylenol products
- Opiate-based medications, such as Vicodin, Percocet, hydrocodone, oxycodone
The most widely quoted NSAID mortality estimates of 16,500 annual NSAID-related U.S. deaths come from the Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System (ARAMIS) database although a more recent study presented in the American Journal of Gastroenterology put the U.S. NSAID-related annual death rate closer to 5,000, including 1,600 deaths related to low dose aspirin.1 Higher doses of aspirin or prolonged use at lower doses can also increase the likelihood of perforated ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, which are also the biggest known risks from taking NSAIDs. Cox-2 inhibitors, a type of NSAID, may increase cardiac risk (e.g., heart attack, stroke) at high doses as well.2
Acetaminophen does not fare much better as acetaminophen-related liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure.3 Additionally, acetaminophen side effects cause an estimated 18,184 emergency room visits each year.4 Opiate-based medications, often given after surgery or a major accident, can also cause problems due to their addictive properties and can lead to potential overdoses.
1 Byron Cryer, NSAID-Associated Deaths: The Rise and Fall of NSAID-Associated GI Mortality, The American Journal of Gastroenterology (2005) 100, 1694-1695. (LINK: http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/v100/n8/full/ajg2005305a.html)
2 Based on a study (LINK: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/cox-2-inhibitors) done by the National Cancer Institute.
3 According to a study (LINK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16317692) published in Hepatology.
4 According to Dan Budnitz, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion of the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (2009).