The Doctors Health Investigator, Liz Vaccariello, is digging through research, questioning the experts and gathering data on important health issues.
First up: Liz gets to the bottom of the artificial sweetener controversy.
Check out when it’s OK to use artificial sweeteners.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
The Doctors explain the difference between pain relievers and which ones are best to use for varying conditions.
Acetaminophen is in a class of medications called analgesics, or pain relievers, and antipyretics, or fever reducers. It is not an anti-inflammatory agent.
A dose of acetaminophen works by changing the way the body senses pain. It is used to relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever.
Acetaminophen is processed through the liver, and should not be taken with alcohol or by people who consume more than three alcoholic drinks a day.
• Pain relief from minor to moderate aches and pains
• Best for headaches
• Fever reducer
• Does not cause stomach irritation
• Best pain reliever for children
• Can be used in all stages of pregnancy
• Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.
• It should not be taken with alcohol or by people who consume more than three alcoholic drinks a day.
• It should not be given to babies younger than 3 months old.
Aspirin is derived from tree bark and is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is often used to help prevent heart attacks because it blocks the formation of blood clots. Aspirin is an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and minor aches and pains.
• Inflammatory conditions
• Aches and pains
• Reduce the formation of blood clots
• Can cause stomach irritation
• Can cause stomach bleeding
• Should not be given to children and teens because it can cause Reyes Syndrome, a potentially fatal disease that can affect the brain and liver.
• Large doses can cause tinnitus
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take aspirin
• Should not be used to treat asthma
Ibuprofen is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by interrupting the body's production of a substance that causes pain, fever and inflammation. Ibuprofen is usually considered more effective than acetaminophen.
• Relieve mild to moderate pain from body and muscle aches
• Reduce fever
• Reduce inflammation and swelling
• Relieve menstrual cramps
• Safe for use in children
• Stomach irritation
• Can cause ulcers
• Not advised for pregnancy
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