| Sometimes, stuff hurts. In these cases, we often turn to painkillers, those lovely little chemicals that keep your brain blissfully ignorant of pain. So what's up with these modern marvels? Let's take a look:|
It's important to know the differences between the most common kinds of pain relievers. To that end, we present the basic painkillers:
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)
Noted for it's soothing affect on pain and swelling as long ago as the 5th century B.C. by Hippocrates, Aspirin is the granddaddy of all pain relievers. The Bayer company first gave it the name aspirin, and history was made. Pretty much all other pain relievers are offshoots of this first chemical.
Good for: pain, swelling, fever
Problems: Reduced clotting, hard on stomach, apparently can cause Reye Syndrom if taken by children with viral infections
· If your aspirin has a strong vinegar smell, it could mean that it is breaking down and losing potency. Aspirin will generally smell slightly like vinegar, but be sure to check your expiration date to ensure maximum potency.
Common brands include Bayer & Bufferin
One of the first drug offshoots of aspirin, the idea was to find something that relieved pain as well as aspirin, but reduced the potential side-effects. Acetaminophen will reduce pain and fever, but has little effect on swelling.
Good for: pain, fever
Problems: Acetaminophen is very hard on your liver... so it doesn't make a very good drinking companion. Adding a couple Tylenol to your already tequilka-soaked liver is just punishing your poor body.
Common brands include Tylenol & Excedrin
Hey, wow... ANOTHER aspirin knock-off! Ibuprofen works well on pain and swelling, and also helps your cells retain water.
Good for: pain, swelling
Problems: Ibuprofen, like acetaminophen, is very hard on your liver. Research has shown that taking these while drinking can raise your blood alcohol levels by as much as 26%, and can slow your body from clearing out the alcohol.
· Studies have also shown that both ibuprofen and acetaminophen can eat away at your stomach lining, causing it to bleed when mixed with alcohol. Not a pretty picture, believe me.
Common brands include Advil & Motrin
The newest member in the aspirin-family singers, naproxen's claim to fame is it's long-lasting effect. Theoretically, 1 pill will last you 12 hours.
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Just can't take the headache anymore? Are you completly out of Advil and the idea of going to the storejust pains you? Well, put a cold rag on your forehead and click your way to relief...