What is the strongest pain reliever available over the counter?


Quick Answer

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, are popular for the treatment of moderate to mild pain because of their pain relief and additional anti-inflammatory properties, notes WebMD. This allows the medication to effectively treat symptoms such as headaches, arthritis and toothaches, as well as muscle pain.

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Full Answer

Acetaminophen is also effective against moderate to mild pain for headaches, arthritis and toothaches, notes WebMD. Aspirin is an NSAID used for mild to moderate pain and can be used as a preventive measure against heart attacks. NSAIDs and Acetaminophen can help to reduce fevers.

Care should be taken when using an over-the-counter pain medication, explains WebMD. Just because a product is offered over-the-counter does not mean it is not toxic. Additionally, many products, such as cold and flu remedies, contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which can lead to accidental overdose when combined with a pain reliever. Not all OTCs affect the body the same way, nor do they affect patients the same way. If a patient does not feel one type of pain reliever is working, he is encouraged to try a different type instead of increasing the dosage, notes WebMD. Each one also has its own side effects, so it’s important to pay attention to effects of the OTC medication on the body.

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