Nowadays, people depend on non-prescription pain relief medications for making their day tolerable. Whether it is a toothache, headache, arthritis, or period cramps, everyone depends on painkillers to get quick relief. It is essential that everyone knows how to choose a pain reliever that is appropriate for them as a significant number of people live with pain every day. Most consumers do not consider safety factors such as the current medicines they are taking, pre-existing medical conditions, and their age while choosing a pain reliever. People think that all the pain relievers are interchangeable and suitable for everyone. However, this is not true. How can you be sure that the pain relief medication you are taking is effective? How can you ensure that it is safe for you?
Here are some things you should remember while choosing medications for pain relief:
- Carefully read the medicine’s label
Reading the label on medications is the single most important thing that one must do while picking a painkiller. It is mandatory to list the active ingredients and their amounts present in medicines. The labels should also state the medication’s proposed use. Check the ingredients and the indications before picking an over-the-counter medication for pain relief. You should also check the inactive ingredients to ensure that you’re not allergic to any of its components.
- Avoid medicines that have a combination of ingredients
Pick the medicine to mitigate the symptom rather than take one with a combination of ingredients. If you are not sure as to which medication to take for treating your symptoms, it is recommended to ask the pharmacist. Using a combination of ingredients can increase the risk of an accidental overdose. For example, if you only have diarrhea without gas, don’t take a medicine for gas and diarrhea.
- Read the warnings on the drug labels
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or some other underlying health condition, make sure to read the warning label. The ingredients in some medications for pain relief may conflict with the current medication regimen that you may be following. For instance, some pain relievers can affect your blood pressure and react adversely with your blood pressure medicines.
- Don’t get confused between medicines with the same name
Sometimes, medications with different indications can have the same trade name. Don’t mix-up between two common medicines that share the same brand name. In case of a confusion, it is better to ask the pharmacist for clarification.
- Do not self-diagnose all the time
Self-diagnosis is fine if you know your symptoms or have had similar problems in the past and treated them successfully. The product’s labels will help you understand if that medicine can treat your symptoms. If you are not sure about the cause of the pain, then you must consult a doctor. It is advisable that women who are late in their pregnancy or are nursing should stay away from any medication for pain relief as its intake could harm your offspring. In such cases, it is best to consult a doctor rather than opting for a self-diagnosis.
- Consider the risks
Always weigh the advantages of taking medicines against the possible side effects. Even everyday medications for pain relief can cause numerous unwanted side effects. Read the label carefully and follow the directions as mentioned on it. If you have a headache or minor muscle pain, then you ought to lean on natural ways to alleviate the pain as these have limited or no side effects rather than depending on medications.
- Know the type of medications
Before taking any medication for pain relief, you must know about the various kinds of medicines and their differences. The two main types of pain relievers are acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Even though they both do the same thing, they can affect people differently. It is better to speak with your physician to determine which types and brands are most suitable for your health condition.
- Check whether you have to avoid some kinds of foods
While taking medication for pain relief, drinking alcohol is forbidden. Similarly, some categories of foods can react with medications and cause indigestion as well as other unwanted side effects.
To summarize, when choosing medications for pain relief, the three most important factors that you should consider are your age, current medical or health condition, and intake of other medicines. It is crucial to know what you are ingesting even if the pain relief medications you’re taking are available without any prescription. Moreover, you should also consider mitigating the pain through various home remedies as these can give the same or better results with limited side effects. Eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking supplements can relieve a wide range of health issues and problems.