Over the counter pain killers are incredibly common and widely available. The most common of these are acetaminophen and ibuprofen, often under the label of Tylenol, Advil, etc. I have a collection of this stuff in my cupboard – ibuprofen gel caps, Tylenol extra strength and Alieve – and usually take it weekly, or sometimes daily due to chronic headaches and knee pain. But I saw something a few months ago that made me think twice about it – regularly taking these medications can lead to health problems.
Acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States and is found in allergy medication, cough and cold remedies, fever reducers, pain relievers, and sleep aids. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are taken too often and in doses that are too high which leads to heart and stomach conditions in addition to liver failure. A quick google search on the topic will reveal the extent of this problem.
Pharmaceutical companies provide the illusion that these medications are safe and the solution to our pain, but they are essentially chemicals and have the potential to harm our bodies. My goal for this summer is to limit the amount of these pain killers that I am taking and find natural, alternative methods to use instead.