6 Surprising Side-effects of Over-the-Counter Painkillers

By:Vasudha Bhat, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Mar 21, 2015

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If you thought your over-the-counter painkiller was absolutely safe, you must think again. They can be safe to use a lot of times, but you must also be aware of the potential side-effects that they can have.
  • 1

    Is your Pain Killer Killing you?

    Drug box in almost every household contains a fleet of over-the-counter medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You may not give it a second thought before popping these pills, but there are some or the other risks linked with them, which you may not have known until today.

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  • 2

    Liver Dysfunction

    Liver damage is a common risk of popping painkillers. Acetaminophen is usually incorporated into other drugs, making it even more difficult to calculate the amount of acetaminophen you are taking.

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  • 3

    Stomach Problems

    Although ibuprofen and naproxen do not affect the functioning of the liver, it does damage the stomach. Over consumption of these pills can harm the stomach lining leading to loss of blood from the irritated area, stomachache and ulcers in some cases.

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  • 4

    Kidney Malfunctioning

    Although it happens rarely, there are people who may experience the risk of kidney malfunctioning due to consumption of ibuprofen and naproxen.

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  • 5


    In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, women who took NSAIDs during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy were found to be twice more likely to experience miscarriage.

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  • 6


    A latest study showed that NSAIDs reduce the effectiveness of antidepressants, called the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

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  • 7

    Blood Thinning

    Painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin can have blood-thinning effect on your body. Although this may not be a problem for most people, but if someone is already on a blood thinning medication, this could be damaging.

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  • 8


    Your health care provider knows the risks involved when you consume painkillers frequently. So, the best way to protect your body from the side-effects of painkillers is to consult a doctor before popping them.

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