When the pain becomes too much to bear, it’s tempting to reach for the pill bottle, with little or no thought to long-term health consequences. But taking over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pain medications is as potentially lethal as playing a round of Russian roulette.
Pain medications, including OTCs and prescription meds, are among the most popular drugs in the world. Coupled with adverse drug reactions, they are also the 4th leading cause of death in the United States, ranking just below cancer, heart disease and stroke! Medications intended to decrease our pain actually end up increasing our risk for heart attack, stroke and liver disease, as well as gastrointestinal, kidney and blood pressure problems.
Are NSAIDS Lurking in Your Medicine Cabinet?
Advil, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen and naproxen are all types of NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) that reduce pain, inflammation and fever. The short-term pain relief these OTCs provide comes with several high prices:
fluid retention and possible edema
increased blood pressure
According to several medical studies, including a recent report published in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), NSAIDs also increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Scientists from the University of Bern in Switzerland analyzed data from 31 clinical trials that consisted of over 116,000 patients. The investigation revealed that stroke victims had been taking a normal recommended dose (400-600 mg) of ibuprofen 3 or 4 times daily.
Another class of NSAIDs, those known as Cox-2 inhibitors, also came under scrutiny. The data showed an increased risk of heart attack among patients taking prescription Cox-2 inhibitors. Prescription brand, Vioxx, was taken off the market years ago in 2004 when over 60,000 people died from increased heart risks. Betrax was removed one year later, but Cox-2 inhibitor, Celebrex is still being prescribed. Another study found that patients taking Celebrex had double the amount of heart attacks as those taking a placebo. The FDA has responded by asking people to take heed and consider using a different medication, but still gives its stamp of approval to the risky drug.
University of Bern researchers concluded that your risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death is 2 to 4 times greater if you take NSAIDs on a regular basis. In fact, if only 25-50 patients were treated with NSAIDs for 1 year, at least 1 would have an additional heart attack or stroke.
NSAIDs Method of Attack
NSAIDs are able to reduce inflammation by subduing the chemicals in our body responsible for triggering pain. The problem is that these chemicals, called prostaglandins, come in two forms: the bad kind, which causes inflammation, and the good kind, which protects the stomach lining and controls blood flow through the kidneys. NSAIDs attack both, and our bodies are left without an adequate supply of essential prostaglandins.
This is one reason why doctors sometimes prefer acetaminophen-based pain medications: they spare the good prostaglandins. They don’t, however, spare your liver.
The Dangers of Acetaminophen
Acetaminophen is the leading ingredient in the popular pain medication, Tylenol. Twenty-eight billion doses of acetaminophen are purchased every year in the United States alone! Take a look at the consequences of those 28 billion doses:
41,000 calls to poison control centers
According to the FDA, Tylenol has replaced viral hepatitis as the leading cause of acute liver failure. Unfortunately, the liver starts to deteriorate long before any symptoms manifest.
The FDA is now asking acetaminophen manufacturers to restrict the dose of the drug to no more than 325 milligrams per capsule and to add a toxicity warning in a boxed label (the strongest type of warning for a prescription drug). This limit, however, is not very easy to regulate, as many OTC cold medications contain acetaminophen in a far greater amount than the recommended dosage.
An Aspirin a Day Does NOT Keep the Doctor Away
Research has found that regular use of the salicylate drug aspirin deteriorates the intestinal lining, causing severe bleeding, colitis, intestinal perforation, infections and in some cases, even death. Aspirin may be able to alleviate pain, but it also depletes the body of essential minerals and nutrients, damaging vital organs and exacerbating heart conditions. Research indicates that regular use of aspirin is linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Neena S. Abraham reported on the harmful effects of aspirin in a 2010 New York Times article:
|”It is important to remember that all NSAIDs, including over-the-counter aspirin, have the potential to damage the tissue of the gastrointestinal tract. Damage can occur anywhere, from mouth to anus … Aspirin is not a nutritional supplement—it is a medication with real risks and side-effects.”|
Alleviate Pain Safely and Naturally
To avoid playing Russian roulette with your health, replenish your medicine cabinet with pain relievers thateffectively eliminate pain without any severe side effects or long-term health damage. After more than 7 years of research and development, The Healthy Back Institute has combined 12 of the most natural, safe and superior pain relievers into a unique and potent anti-inflammatory pain medication. Click here to discoverthe real truth about pain relief and what “Big Pharma” doesn’t want you to know.
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