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OTC pain relievers: Know your personal risk factors

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should consult your doctor before taking OTC pain medications.

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Answers to your questions about OTC painkillers

Every day millions of consumers turn to over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications for temporary relief of pain from headaches, colds, muscular ache, and arthritis, and to reduce fever. While these medications are largely safe when taken according to label directions, there are risks when taking any drug. Just because a medication is available on the shelf of your local grocery or discount store does not make it any safer than a drug that has been prescribed by your doctor.

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Understand your OTC Drug Facts labels

You're taking more responsibility for your own healthcare, medicating yourself for minor ailments like colds, headaches, and stomach aches. But do you know enough about the medicines you take to make informed healthcare decisions for you and your family? Looking at your medication labels carefully - and understanding what they say - will help you use them wisely and avoid problems.

Read more: Understand your OTC Drug Facts labels