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Too many people are taking too many anti-inflammatory painkillers, a new study reveals.
Ibuprofen and similar drugs are great for all kinds of aches and pains, but too much of a good thing, in this case, can be deadly by causing ulcers and digestive tract bleeding.
New - Research - Boston - University - Percent
New research from Boston University found that 15 percent of adults take more than the recommended daily maximum of the pills.
Many people also take the drug every day, a worrisome habit that could contribute the the slow erosion of gastrointestinal walls.
Board - Americans - Relationship - Painkillers
Across the board, it seems Americans have an unhealthy relationship to painkillers.
Americans take an estimated 30 billion doses of over the counter or prescription drugs similar to ibuprofen every year.
Drugs - NSAIDs - Ibuprofen - Painkillers - Side
While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are not addictive like more potent opioids painkillers, they are not without their own dangerous side effects.
'The attitude that users can choose their own dose regardless of label directions, along with poor knowledge of dosing limits, is associated with exceeding the daily limit,' said lead study author Dr David Kaufman.
Pain - Inflammation - System - Response - Damage
Pain is most often cause by inflammation which is an immune system response to tissue damage or foreign invaders into the body.
Ibuprofen, like all NSAIDs, blocks the production of certain enzymes that then in turn would fuel the production of chemicals, called prostaglandins, to cause inflammation.
Chemicals - Family - Stomach - Mucus - Acids
But some of the chemicals in the prostaglandin family ensure that the stomach is coated in protective mucus to keep digestive acids from irritating or even eating away at the organ tissue.
So the more inflammation blocking ibuprofen you take, the more protection is being stripped away from the stomach.
Drugs - Side - Effects - Bleeding - Heart
'These drugs can have serious side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and heart attacks, and are often taken without medical oversight because many products are available over-the-counter,' Dr Kaufman said.
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