Mercy Pain Management Specialist Dr. David Maine Discusses Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
When people are in pain, whether it's from a headache or a sore back, they often reach for over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Which one is better to take? According to pain management specialist Dr. David Maine, Director of The Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center, the two drugs are very different.
Acetaminophen, which many people know through name brands like Tylenol, is often used for headache pain and for use in children.
Ibuprofen, which many people know through name brands like Advil, is an anti-inflammatory medication and is typically used to treat problems like back pain and sports injuries. But both of these painkillers can have side effects.
"I don't think there's a specific medication when you think about Tylenol or non-steroidals such as ibuprofen that one is necessarily safer than the other," Dr. Maine said. "I think ibuprofen and non-steroidals in general are more effective for treating pain conditions but safety lies in how you're taking the medication and dose and they can both cause significant problems if taken excessively in doses that are not recommended."
Dr. Maine added that if you are already taking pain medication, look out for combination drugs, like cold medications, that can also contain painkillers, so you don't take too much.
View Dr. David Maine’s interview regarding over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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