What Over-the-Counter Painkillers are Most Effective?

Living with pain can be a frustrating ordeal. Luckily, there are plenty of choices when it comes to over-the-counter painkillers that can help in most situations. Certain types of pain relievers are more effective for different types of ailments. Headaches, muscle pain, fever, and inflammation are all issues that can be addressed with over-the-counter solutions, but each pain reliever has their own benefits and downsides. It is always a good idea to check with a doctor before taking any new medication, but here are a few guides to what each kind of painkiller is most effective and for what ailments.

What pain killer is best for you? Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals
What pain killer is best for you? Please also review our certifications for healthcare professionals

If you are experiencing minor aches and pains, specifically headaches, aspirin may be a good choice. Its major benefit is the ability to treat and prevent heart disease. Aspirin has become an over-the-counter drug to keep on hand due to the claims that if it is taken during a heart attack, it may save your life. If you are at risk, this can be an easy way to protect yourself. If you are a migraine sufferer, aspirin may not be the best choice though. It has not proven to be as effective as other choices for migraine pain, and the same goes for menstrual cramps. Children should not take aspirin as it has been linked to Reyes disease in young people.

Pain experienced during a migraine or other type of headache will likely be relieved using ibuprofen. It is effective for fever and inflammation reduction, and even relieves menstrual cramps fairly well. Its effectiveness is made even better because it rarely has any ill effects if taken as directed. It is a mild pain reliever and is most helpful for pain caused by inflammation. According to a DWI lawyer this may come in handy if you experience pain after a traumatic event like a car accident, though you should always check with a doctor first. If you have heart issues, this may not be the best option, as there are concerns about its relation to heart health. But if you have ulcers or stomach issues, then it is considered a good choice as it is gentle on the stomach.

If long lasting pain relief is what you are looking for, naproxen will most likely be your best bet. It is effective for all types of headaches and is considered one of the best treatments for menstrual cramp pain. The relief offered by naproxen outlasts most other types of pain relievers. It does take its toll on your stomach in some cases, but if you have no stomach concerns, the ability of naproxen to last twice as long as anything else may make it a winner in your book.

This treatment for minor aches and pains associated with cold and flus is often used to reduce fevers and for minor headaches. Migraine sufferers may not get the relief they are looking for with this drug though. Acetaminophen is very mild on the stomach though it is important to keep careful track of how much is taken because this drug is filtered through the liver and can cause liver damage if not taken as directed. It is considered a safe choice for hemophiliacs and those with aspirin allergies and acetaminophen is also safe to take in combination with other pain relievers.

Choosing an effective over-the-counter pain reliever can be confusing with all the choices and brands on the market. It is helpful to focus on what is causing your pain and research which type is going to do the best job making you feel better, while avoiding side effects that could lead to bigger problems. It is also important to follow your doctor’s advice and always take medication as directed.

If you also would like to learn more about AIHCP and its many certifications for healthcare professionals then please review our programs and see if they match your academic or professional needs.



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