Monday, December 5, 2011

Side Effects

“America is the country where you buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar and use it up in two weeks”
-John Barrymore
All medicines can cause side effects. And sometimes one medicine is prescribed over another because of the side effects. For example, I recently saw a doctor about back pain and she recommended an odd (to me) schedule of medicine. Advil at breakfast, Tylenol at lunch, Advil at dinner, and Tylenol before sleeping. Why the two different pain killers I asked? She explained:

Advil and similar Ibuprofen products can upset the stomach, and according to, cause constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, gas, headache, heartburn, and nausea. Since I have GERD (acid reflux) I have to go easy on the Advil.

Tylenol is easy on the stomach but there are strict limits on its usage. This is not a drug you want to overdose on, it can be fatal. USA Today reports a study that claims even small overdoses of Tylenol repeated over time can damage the liver.  Many people I know will take extra aspirin or Ibuprofen when the regular dosage did not kill the pain. But few are aware that they should NEVER exceed the recommended dosage Tylenol, no matter how bad the pain is.

Bottom Line

Never just assume that if a little medicine is good than more must be better. Always check with a doctor if the recommended dose is not doing the job you want.

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