24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Health Tip: Do's and Don'ts for Calling 911Experimental Injection May Protect Against Peanut AllergyReblozyl Approved to Treat Anemia in Patients With Beta ThalassemiaAHA News: High Blood Pressure Common Among Black Young AdultsAHA News: Congenital Heart Disease Linked to Neighborhood Pollution, PovertySome Headway Made Against 'Superbugs,' but Threat Remains: CDCHealth Tip: A Well-Stocked First-Aid KitLung Cancer Report Delivers Good, Bad NewsAHA News: Millions Unaware of Common Heart Attack SymptomsWant Extra Years of Life? Keep Blood Pressure Tightly ControlledTestosterone Supplements Double Men's Odds for Blood Clots: StudyHealth Tip: Treating Post-Nasal DripOpioids Won't Help Arthritis Patients Long-Term: StudyCommon Muscle Relaxant Could Pose Mental Dangers for SeniorsKratom May Cause Liver Damage: StudySupplements Don't Prevent Kidney Disease in Type 2 DiabeticsNew Tool Predicts Odds of Kidney DiseaseVitamin E Acetate Is Leading Suspect in Vaping-Linked Lung Illnesses: CDCVaping-Linked Lung Illnesses Top 2,000, CDC SaysAHA News: Stroke Death Rate Increasing for Middle-Aged AmericansRural Americans Dying More From Preventable Causes Than City DwellersWhy Hand-Washing Beats Hand SanitizersSleepless Nights Could Raise Heart RisksScreening Truckers for Sleep Apnea Cuts Health Insurance CostsDo You Take Biotin Supplements? They Could Affect Your Medical TestsAHA News: Heart Disease Down Over A Generation Among American IndiansRisks Mount for Lonely Hearts After Cardiac SurgeryDaylight Saving Time Bad for Health, Experts ClaimHealth Tip: Prevent BloatingCould a Blood Test for Breast Cancer Become a Reality?One Dead, 8 Hospitalized in Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Ground BeefMost Americans Fear Cancer, but Feel Powerless to Prevent It: SurveyFewer Opioids After Eye Surgery Don't Mean More Post-Op PainDrug Trio Could Give Patients With Cystic Fibrosis a New OptionCould Tissue-Sealing Tape One Day Replace Stitches?Deep Sleep May 'Rinse' Day's Toxins From BrainClose to 1,900 Cases of Vaping-Linked Lung Illness, CDC SaysMeasles Leaves People More Vulnerable to Future InfectionsHealth Tip: Nausea After EatingSooner Is Usually Better for Gallbladder SurgeryProtect Your Heart Through the Holiday SeasonReport Finds Americans' Health Is FlaggingAHA News: Retina Changes Offer Glimpse Into Body's Heart HealthWildfire Smoke Threatens Health for Miles AroundHealth Tip: Hand Swelling During ExerciseToo Many Seniors Back in Hospital for Infections Treated During First StayHealth Tip: Cold, Flu or Allergy?Health Tip: What Your Urine Color May MeanNew Database Shows 'Rare' Diseases Are Not So Rare WorldwideIs Head Injury Causing Dementia? MRI Might Show
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

What Are the Risks of Pain Relief Alternatives to Opioids?

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Oct 7th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Oct. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- With so much attention focused on the dangers of opioid painkillers, it's easy to forget that even "safe" over-the-counter products carry some dangers.

If you don't think twice about reaching for a pill to relieve aches and pains, especially medicines called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, you need to know about the wide-ranging cautions surrounding their use, especially if you take them on a regular basis and over a long period of time.

NSAIDs can cause:

  • New or worsening high blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Liver issues
  • Kidney damage
  • Anemia
  • Life-threatening skin and allergic reactions

NSAIDs can also increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, even within just the first few weeks of using one, and the risk can rise over time. Your risk for heart issues is greater if you have high blood pressure or heart disease or recently had a heart attack or bypass surgery. Aspirin is the one NSAID this warning doesn't apply to. However, NSAIDs, including aspirin, can damage the stomach lining and cause gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding and ulcers.

Your risk for GI issues is higher if you:

  • Take NSAIDs long-term
  • Are over age 60
  • Are a heavy drinker
  • Have a history of GI bleeding or ulcers
  • Are also taking blood-thinners, steroids or certain other medications

If you're considering acetaminophen, commonly known by the brand name Tylenol, as an alternative to NSAIDs, know that acetaminophen can also cause severe liver damage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Like NSAIDs, it's also in hundreds of other products, so as with all drugs, read medication ingredient labels to avoid taking too much of the same active ingredient and potentially overdosing.

In general, always take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible, and only after talking to your doctor if you already have high blood pressure or any other chronic condition.

More information

The FDA has more on NSAIDs and new cautions.