Over the Counter, Under the Radar

As the Law of Reaction, common sense, and the FDA will remind you. Actions have consequences, and drugs have side effects. Although most people are desensitized to the litany of long listed side effects commonly attributed to daily drugs, most people are compelled to choose between the lesser of the two evils. If I choose to stop the pain I have now, does that increase my chance of more pain later? Here are some of the most recognized brands of pain reliever, according to the AARP, and what harm they can cause to your body with chronic long-term habitual use.

-Common Drugs, Severe Side Effects:


About 78,000 people annually are emitted into the emergency room suffering from acetaminophen toxicity; acetaminophen is the main ingredient used in Tylenol. Although this drug does reduce inflammation, which relieves headaches, stomach cramps, allergies, muscle, and joint pain. Chronic long-term habitual use of this drug does lead to severe liver damage.


Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec:

Antihistamines, like in Benadryl, work to block the production compounds of the histamines. They have been found to relieve itchiness, and runny noses. Besides drowsiness, antihistamines have been known to negatively affect judgment, coordination, and reactionary time. This is increasingly more dangerous to the elderly, of which are more susceptible to injury from falling.


Triaminic, Afrin Nasal Spray:

The problems with most decongestants intended to reduce inflammation in, and around the nose, are alarming. These decongestants not only spike blood pressure into dangerous levels, they also act to bypass blood-pressure regulating medication. Although the nasal sprays have fewer side effects, the inner lining of your nose can become dependent if use goes longer than the recommended three day maximum.


In conclusion, always be aware of the recommended amounts, and possible side effects whenever medicating ones self. Never settle on tradition, and always be searching for better, healthier, natural options to ease your pain.

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