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Painkiller drugs

Study: Most people have no idea what's actually in the painkiller drugs they take

Thursday, May 12, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: painkiller drugs, ingredients, health news

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(NaturalNews) If you asked the average person what active ingredients are found in their favorite over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller drugs, most would be unable to properly identify them -- even if they personally use them. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that roughly 69 percent of people surveyed were unaware that McNeil Consumer Healthcare's painkiller drug Tylenol contains acetaminophen, while an astounding 81 percent had no idea that Pfizer's Advil contains ibuprofen.

A research team from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine sampled 45 English-speaking adults at high risk of medication overdosing as part of their study. The group was asked if they were aware of the ingredients in various painkiller drugs they were using. About 59 percent of the participants revealed that they never even read drug labels, and it became clear to experts that many participants had at some point taken multiple medications containing the same active ingredient, which raised their risk of health complications.

Acetaminophen, of course, is the leading cause of liver failure among young people and young adults. In fact, studies have routinely shown that acetaminophen is harmful to everyone's kidneys, including adults (http://www.naturalnews.com/001523_Tylenol_ac...). This is particularly concerning when considering that many people are regularly ingesting unknown amounts of this ingredient from multiple drugs without any awareness of it.

"I think the marketing and labeling of these products is very confusing," said Dr. Lee M. Sanders, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, to Yahoo! News. "I often get called by medical colleagues (MDs and PhDs) with questions about this."

OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen are linked to causing at least 76,000 hospitalizations and 7,600 deaths in the US alone (http://www.annals.org/content/127/6/429.full...). Recent studies have also linked NSAIDs to erectile dysfunction, heart attacks, gastrointestinal disorders, and birth defects (http://www.naturalnews.com/NSAIDs.html).

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