“It’s not that serious.” “I’m only taking ibuprofin (Advil) or, acetaminphen (Tylenol) or, naproxen (Aleve) or, aspirin (Anacin) or acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine (Excedrin.) It’s not like I’m taking prescription medications!”

This is a very typical attitude. People have no idea the dangers that over the counter medications CAUSE. It is believed since a prescription is NOT NEEDED, the product is SAFE. Of the 5 drugs listed above, 4 are NSAID’s (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) known for CAUSING INTERNAL BLEEDING AND DEATH!  A statement from a July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine stated the following:

“Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are HOSPITALIZED annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related DEATHS occur each year among arthritis patients alone.  The figures of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated.” Ref: (NSAID’s and GI Dysfunction)

What about their affects on the kidneys?

“The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can completely block the kidney’s defense mechanisms and makes any other form of kidney injury, from high blood pressure, to diabetes, to dehydration, much worse,” said Leslie Spry, M.D., F.A.C.P., a Lincoln, Neb.-based nephrologist and spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. According to one study, approximately 2.5 million Americans experience renal effects each year from NSAIDs. Every day in the U.S. a new patient will require dialysis (treatment for lost kidney function) due to chronic NSAID use. (Ref: NSAID’s and Kidney Dysfuncion)


Some people have chosen a different route to avoid these dangers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is NOT an anti-inflammatory drug and believed (by the consumer) to be a safer alternative. The reality reveals:

“It is the leading cause of ACUTE LIVER FAILURE in the United States.” It accounts for more than 100,000 calls to poison centers, roughly 60,000 emergency-room visits and hundreds of deaths each year in the United States. (Ref: Acetaminophen and Liver Dysfunction)

This drug has been around since 1955. In 2013 it was mandated that LIVER FAILURE be added to the warning label. People do not realize the dangerous interaction of substances with over the counter drugs. For example, alcohol consumed before or after taking acetaminophen magnifies the chances of a lethal outcome seen countless numbers of times EVERY YEAR.


With so many natural HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS available to the consumer, why would anyone choose to use these products on a recurring basis knowing they produce toxicity to the kidney, liver and gastrointestinal tract. The answers are:





Don’t cut corners. Don’t ASSUME it’s safe because it’s over the counter. Don’t take products (natural or prescriptive/over the counter) for trivial conditions if not truly NEEDED. Address whatever the underlying CAUSES are that RESULT in the symptoms you’re taking these products for.



There has never been a case of MALNUTRITION as a result of an over the counter drug DEFICIENCY! Why not place an alternative substance in your mouth your body ACTUALLY NEEDS to avoid the symptoms







  1. It is awful how much these medications are over used and not taken seriously!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People believe they can live unhealthy lifestyles and enjoy the damaging effects because they can moderate the physical pain. This was never the intended use of these products.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I take a lot of NSAIDS, both OTC and prescription. I have my liver function checked every 4 months because my Rheumatologist won’t prescribe NSAIDS without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The liver can suffer significant damage before it shows evidence on a blood panel. It’s good that your doctor cares enough to check before prescribing, but this DOESN’T mean the liver is healthy. It means it hasn’t reached a level of damage to impair its ability to function. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to make a choice. Pain relief, minor though it be or complete pain. I use them knowing the risks. thanks for the warning.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post….I take Naprosyn Sodium, alternate with Advil, and the I alternate with Tylenol Arthritis…I try not taking them…but sometimes its necessary for pain and inflammation….I also use ginger, turmeric, blueberrys, pineapples, and vit c for inflammation….wish there was another way….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Occasional use of these meds are typically handled sufficiently by the body. Ongoing recurring use complicated by exceeding recommended dosages creates the toxic effects I discuss. If people were to follow a healthier lifestyle they would find the need and frequency for them would significantly reduce. Many CHOOSE an unhealthy lifestyle because these meds can reduce their symptoms. This path is certain to lead to premature aging, disease and loss of quality living.

      You, on the other hand, on doing so many things in the right direction. You might want to research the quantities of turmeric, ginger, boswellia, bromelain, etc… to take. Just like prescription and OTC meds, specific quantities are required based on the size and weight of an individual to achieve the desired impact of these natural products.


      1. thanks Jonathan…..I will look into boswellia and bromelain….I am surprised I don’t look yellow as I take a capsule of turmeric and sprinkle it on all my food…LOL ginger and cinnamon I alternate to save on stomach lining…..thanks for all the help….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Always, a pleasure.


  4. Good article 🙂
    First of all, I don’t know the American names for all this kind of medications. But I really wish, that there were other alternatives than chemical drugs as painkillers, when you are in hard pain caused chronic illness. There are a lot of drugs, where we can be testers of many, before we get one, as are helping us at all.
    If it was possible to just eat and drink healthy and avoid both illness and pain, many would be happy, except of the drug companies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are certainly times when short term use of pain medications are indicated. Many doctors and patients over utilize medications. They live lifestyles that often complicate their painful situations. Many are unwilling to compromise these lifestyles and choose to medicate themselves instead. This option simply complicates their health as they age.

      It is important to search for ROOT CAUSES of pain and disease. Treating symptoms allows the underlying problems to worsen. Eating healthy is only ONE COMPONENT. People must incorporate (realistically) the various components that allow the body to return to a state of good health and BALANCE. Here we find the least amount of pain and disease and an improved quality of life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with much here. I can’t find any physical reason for either Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis, when I try to look back at my life more than I did not listen to older people about not carrying too much a time for my back.
        If I look more spiritual at the situation, I see a lot of reasons, but I can’t change the past, only do my best to stay healthy. By that I mean eat healthy, no alcohol and exercise by walking between 2-3 hours a day with my big dog. I do meditate daily, work alternative with healing in several ways.
        All of this is not enough to keep my pain away and I need strong medication in periods. I do only use this, while it is necessary, but I can see, that the pain level is growing by time anyway.
        Do you have more ideas, what to do for people with chronic pain?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Since I do not have a complete health history, it is difficult to offer specific advice. Some people with your complaints benefit from water (pool) therapeutic exercises as well as light resistance exercise to maintain muscle function. Stretching is an essential component as well. Gentle Yoga and meditation are also quite beneficial.
          On the mental side, removing emotional stress that may have accumulated over a lifetime also plays a role on a physical outcome.
          There are natural anti-inflammatories including turmeric, ginger bromelain and boswellia; anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and pain relievers like capzacin.
          These are ideas you can discuss with your physician to see if they’re appropriate in your case.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you for your answer. I did not expect you to go into personal cases, why I asked more general for people with chronic pain, what to do to feel better and to avoid chemical medications.
            I also found out, that yoga is good and help. Meditation helps to take away minding at the pain.
            I will try to see, if we have a pool in the area with warm water in the winter.
            I do really believe, that emotional stress makes everything worse.
            I do use both turmeric and ginger in my food. I haven’t heard about the others. I will talk to my doctor, next time I visit her.
            Thank you very much for your help and wish you a beautiful day 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Another problem with OTC pain relievers is that they are often added to OTC drugs for cold/flu symptoms. People who do not read labels very carefully can wind up ingesting dangerous amounts of acetaminphen w/o going near a bottle of Tylenol. Anybody who feels a need for a decongestant should be careful to get one that is not burdened with an unnecessary pain reliever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a common cause of overdose. People just do not realize the physical harm thes OTC drugs can cause because they’re OTC! OTC in their minds equals SAFE. HUGE MISTAKE!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I too, am one burdened with long term chronic pain, having been diagnosed with bone spurs in my spine, shoulders,osteoarthritis, etc. I do take Norco 7.5 mg hydrocodone combined with 325 mg Tylenol. I still have way too much pain, even then.
    That said, I live in TorC, NM which has an abundance of hot springs, supposed to be therapeutic. What is your opinion of the benefit of hot springs for pain? We also have a open year round pool, (which is heavily chlorinated) that I might consider, but am a little concerned about the chlorine, as well as possible contamination. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of my patients reported pain relief using hot springs as PART of their approach to healthier (and pain reduced) living.

      Osteoarthritis is a defensive response by the body to help stabilize areas of weakness and dysfunction. MOVEMENT is the #1 thing that avoids the rapid progression of this condition. Exercising in water adds buoyancy reducing the stress on joint function while maximizing range of motion. I’m not excited about chlorine, but will use a pool containing this rather than not using water therapy at all. I would also encourage an anti inflammatory diet plan. Meditation and yoga are also activities that effectively address underlying causes of pain as well. Chiropractic and acupuncture also help restore functional joint movement, increase range of motion and assist in pain reduction.

      These are a few ideas for you. I’m sure you already utilize some of these. Keep researching and applying all the important components in life which help return the body to a state of BALANCE. This improves quality while minimizing unwanted symptoms.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. maureenrose7 · · Reply

    Omg truly thank you so much for this post….I have taken ibuprofen for years for my arthritis and help with fibro I do have my yearly bloodwork done to check my liver and kidneys and even though everything comes back normal I always have wondered how much damage am I doing by depending so much on this medication. I have never ever smoked and rarely ever drank so jokingly to family I would say my organs are in great shape from all the years of not abusing them (family of heavy smokers and heavy drinkers yup I’m the exception but you are not surprised are you Doctor? haha) so I thought my body can handle using ibuprofen. but you have now put this right here in my face and I sooo needed that!!! I don’t want to try and ease one problem while causing my body another! I have made so many good and necessary changes what the heck is one more right?!! The fact is my arthritis and stiff joints are not going to kill me! they will be a cause for me to take more hot baths and I mean who doesn’t love a hot bath?! I learn so much from you and yes I have heard some of these things from others but truly Jonathan you take your health and the health of others to such a level you make it very easy for me to listen to your advice and or words of warning! Thank you!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again for the kindness you share with me.
      If you have taken NSAIDS regularly, stopping cold Turkey can produce painful results. Using natural anti inflammatories (such as Turmeric, Ginger, Boswellia, bromelain) with gradually reduced dosages of NSAIDS can make the transition easier. I am NOT telling you to do this; I am simply informing you of a method that could make the change easier with less pain IF YOU CHOOSE. You can talk with your doctor to confirm whether this approach makes sense in your case. Remember that an anti inflammatory diet would be a good idea as well (although I believe you mentioned you already eat this way.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Really informative and great post. Here in the UK, most will, depending on their pain, choose between paracetomol or ibuprofen. It is just so easy to buy over the counter and terribly cheap. My renal consultant/doctor, has indicated that ibuprofen is not that great for kidneys and I should probably not take it. Its crazy… you think to yourself-oh its being sold in the store-it can’t be bad for me. It is so important to educate yourself. Again, great post! Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why I write these posts. Pharmaceutical OTC products generate a tremendous amount of revenue and can unintentionally cause irreparable harm to the consumer. OTC is NOT synonymous with SAFE! Glad you have a doctor that has educated you on this reality. Live a lifestyle designed to promote good health and minimize the need for ANY (OTC or prescription) drug.
      Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Have a wonderful week ahead!


      1. Yes! Absolutely. I agree with everything you’ve said. Massive applause. Yup, my Doc is pretty fab. Wishing you a great week ahead as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great eye-opener Jonathan. Fortunately I am not one for over the counter medication and don’t like to take pills for anything, but still found this incredibly interesting. Thank you for caring and putting your knowledge out there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get excited when I hear that fellow readers do not need and/or use synthetic drugs to “feel healthy.” It reinforces the fact that these products are not as necessary as people believe. Keep living healthy and enjoying life as I know you do.

      Stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good post! Would love a similar post about the pros and cons of taking supplements and vitamins.

    I’ve seen for example a study where populations taking multivitamins weren’t necessarily living longer than those who do not – to the contrary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do believe in supplements, however, used incorrectly, they can compete for substances and interfere with absorption of necessary nutrients. I am also a strong believer of the multivitamin (preferably a whole food QUALITY vitamin.) I do not believe supplements or vitamins (in and of themselves) are responsible for longer durations of life. I think they are a necessary component based on our agricultural practices that do not provide adequate time for the soil to replenish its nutrients. Most people’s food sources contain GMO’s, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc… that dramatically alter and damage the GI tract. I too have seen some studies on the “harms” of these supplements. I do not like the designs by many of these studies. There are way to many factors that can influence the results which these studies don’t address.

      Really enjoying your site as well. You write on important subject matters. Keep up the good work.


  11. An eye-opener for me. I used to take Ibuprofen like it was going out of style, even if I didn’t need it. I think many are under the impression that it prevents arthritis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not the first person to express a lack of awareness of the real dangers behind these OTC drugs. This is what leads to the statistics we see today! Glad to have shed some light to help you reconsider alternative options in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: