How to Choose the Safest OTC Painkiller for Older Adults
If your mother has been complaining about aches and pains, make sure she sees her doctor for a thorough examination. Improper use of OTC painkillers is a major cause of harm to older people.
What’s the safest OTC painkiller for an older parent?
Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) is the safest oral OTC painkiller for daily or frequent use. However, high doses can cause serious u2014 sometimes even life-threatening u2014 liver injury.
Be careful or avoid this common class of painkillers
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause 41,300 hospitalizations and 3,300 deaths among older adults each year. NSAIDs can cause bleeding in the stomach, small bowel, or colon, as well as increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A geriatrician’s patient was hospitalized for internal bleeding from his stomach.
Aspirin: a special NSAID we no longer use for pain
Aspirin is an over-the-counter analgesic that is technically a NSAID but has a chemical structure that differs from the other NSAIDs. Taking aspirin for a headache or other pain is not particularly dangerous for most aging adults.
Tips on safer use of OTC painkillers
Acetaminophen is the safest OTC pain reliever for older adults, as long as you don’t take more than 3,000 mg per day. Acetaminophen is commonly found in cough and cold medications, as well as prescription pain relievers; check the ingredients list for all medications of this type.
If acetaminophen isn’t providing enough pain relief
If acetaminophen isn’t providing enough relief for your mother’s pains, you might want to ask about over-the-counter (or sometimes prescription) NSAIDs, as well as topical painkillers like gels, creams, and patches.
What is the most common medication problem in the elderly?
Warfarin is one of the most common causes of medication-related hospitalizations in older adults, so extra care should be taken in monitoring warfarin effect (via the prothrombin blood test) and checking for interactions when a new drug is prescribed to reduce the risk of serious problems.
Why is ibuprofen bad for over 65s?
If you’re over 65, ibuprofen can increase your risk of stomach ulcers; if you’re taking it for a long time, your doctor will prescribe a stomach-protecting medication.
What are the symptoms of taking too many painkillers?
The following are some general signs of painkiller intoxication and abuse:
- Mood swings.
- Poor concentration.
- Memory problems.
- Slower breathing rate.
- Slower reactions and movements.
What is the best muscle relaxer for elderly?
Which Muscle Relaxants Are the Most Beneficial for Neck and Back Pain?
- 1) Methocarbamol (Robaxin). Methocarbamol (Robaxin) is a well-studied back pain medication.
- 2) Cyclobenzaprine.
- 3) Carisoprodol.
- 4) Metaxalone.
- 5) Tizanidine.
- 6) Baclofen.
- 7) Oxazepam and diazepam.
What drugs have the worst side effects?
The Top 15 Deadly Substances
- Alcohol. Alcohol includes all types of beer, wine, and malt liquor.
What is a good natural anti-inflammatory?
Foods that are anti-inflammatory
- Tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, and fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
What is the safest painkiller?
For most older adults, acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) is the safest oral OTC painkiller for daily or frequent use, as long as you don’t exceed a total dose of 3,000mg per day. Acetaminophen is also known as paracetamol outside the United States.
What can I take instead of ibuprofen for inflammation?
What Are Some Ibuprofen Alternatives?
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) u2013 500 mg, 1u20132 tablets, every six hours as needed for pain relief.
- Arnica u2013 a homeopathic medicine that can be taken orally or topically.
- Bromelain u2013 a pineapple extract and a natural anti-inflammatory.
What happens if you take painkillers everyday?
In rare cases, taking acetaminophen for several days in a row can cause liver damage, even if you take just a little more than the recommended dose. These drugs can also cause kidney problems in rare cases. Aspirin and ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding.
How many painkillers can you have in a day?
Adults should take one or two 500mg tablets up to four times per day, with at least four hours between doses. Overdosing on paracetamol can result in serious side effects, so do not increase the dose or take a double dose if your pain is severe.
What are the side effects of pain killer?
The following are some of the most common opioid and other pain medication side effects:
- Constipation. This common opioid side effect can often be mitigated.
- Nausea. Nausea and vomiting can occur in the first day or two of taking an opioid medication.
- Sedation, Drowsiness, or Clouded Thinking.
What is the best muscle relaxer over the counter?
What is the best over-the-counter (OTC) muscle pain medication?
- Parents, doctors, and athletes all swear by Advil (ibuprofen).
- Motrin IB (ibuprofen): Don’t be fooled by the different brand name.
- Aleve (naproxen): Another medicine cabinet staple, naproxen is similar to ibuprofen in many ways.
What is the most sedating muscle relaxer?
The sedative properties of tizanidine and cyclobenzaprine may benefit patients with insomnia caused by severe muscle spasms. Cyclobenzaprine has been shown to be effective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
When should you not take a muscle relaxer?
If your spasms last more than a few weeks, ask your doctor if the muscle relaxer is truly helping you and if other treatments should be tried.