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The Dangers of Taking Too Much Pain Reliever


By Alanna McCatty

February 12, 2018

The Dangers of Taking Too Much Pain Reliever

About 15% of people taking ibuprofen (Advil) or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) exceed the recommended daily maximum dosage.

Researchers asked around 1,300 ibuprofen users to write down their NSAID use daily in a diary for 1 week. After reviewing the journal recordings, researchers were able to calculate the users’ daily dosage intake and compare it with the maximum recommended dose.

The results, which are published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, indicated that 11% of ibuprofen users and 4% of other NSAID users exceeded the daily dosing limit in just a 1-week time period. Those who exceeded the recommended dosage typically experienced chronic pain, had a poor physical state and smoked daily.

Also, people who exceeded the recommended dosage had the tendency to ignore the recommendation on the label and take matters into their own hands by choosing their own dose. Others weren’t knowledgeable about how to properly comply with the label instructions.

The study was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. One of the company’s key products is Tylenol (acetaminophen), which is not an NSAID.

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Last updated: February 12, 2018