What Types of OTC Pain Relievers Are There?
When it comes to OTC, or over-the-counter, pain relievers, there are two categories: acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs , which include:
Each of these products, when taken as directed, are safe and effective in treating a wide range of pains. However, using too much of any pain reliever or taking pain relievers when you have underlying conditions or fall into a high-risk demographic, can result in a range of unwanted side effects, from liver failure and kidney disease to Reye syndrome.
If you have to take multiple OTC medications, always check labels for active ingredients to be sure that you aren’t taking twice the recommended dosage for a pain reliever like acetaminophen. If you’re taking prescription medications, such as blood thinners, always discuss with your physician what OTC medications are safe for you to use, and in what dosage, to avoid drug interactions.