Smart Use of Painkillers
Many Americans are taking excessive amounts of painkillers and say they do not worry about side effects, according to a recent survey. Researchers from the National Consumers League asked 4,200 U.S. adults about their medication habits and found that 44% take higher-than-recommended doses. Respondents also showed little concern for the potentially serious side effects of nonprescription painkillers, which can include stomach bleeding. Only 16% of respondents reported reading the entire label of a medication before taking it. To help protect against complications, consumers should read precautions and directions of every medication. Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking because many should not be combined. Be aware of possible side effects, and take note if you experience any.
P.S. The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 1999 that 16,500 Americans die annually from aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.