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Pain medication labels are important

May 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Taking one pain reliever too many may not seem like a big deal, but experts say the fine print is there for a reason.Drugstore shelves are filled with pain relievers. There are more than 350 different kinds. Most carry the warnings "do not take more than directed" or "do not exceed recommended dose," but not everyone heeds those warnings.

Consumer Reports says beware of overusing over-the-counter pain relievers.

"People don't realize it's risky to take more than the recommended dose or to use pain relievers for weeks at a time without consulting a doctor," explains Gayle Williams from Consumer Reports.

An overuse of pain relievers can lead to many health problems, according to a Consumer Reports' survey of 47,000 subscribers.

"Four percent, nearly 2,000 people suffered serious side affects including ulcers, or problems with their kidneys, heart, or liver," adds Williams.

So next time you go to use a pain reliever, realize there are real risks to not following the directions.

Hopefully this report will send a message to drug makers. In the same survey, almost half of 6,000 online participants said they had difficulty reading the fine print on over the counter drug labels.

Until the fine print gets bigger it might be a good idea to get someone to read it for you.

 

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