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Just because a medicine is available over the counter, doesn’t mean it is safe to take daily. We’ve all been there though. Aches and pains happen. We reach for the acetaminophen or ibuprofen to work some magic. This is fine for once in a while, but was never meant to be an every day or several times a day treatment. Extended use of any medicine can have some damaging effects.

Over consumption of ibuprofen has been shown to damage the liver specifically reducing an antioxidant called glutathione which is our bodies most important antioxidant. It can also lead to leaky gut. Too much ibuprofen can cause serious bleeding, stomach ulcers, and kidney damage. Holly Haze has her own bad experience with this and explains, ” I was taking entirely too much ibuprofen to get relief from a condition called adenomyosis. One night I took it and tried to fall asleep. I woke up and forgot I took some already and took more, a total of 2000 mg within hours. I had to be admitted to the hospital because of the damage to the intestinal wall….lesson learned.”

The maximum amount of ibuprofen you can take depends on whether you’re taking ibuprofen OTC or as a prescription. Always ask your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure how much ibuprofen you or your child should take.

When our kids are little, we give them the magical red liquid Tylenol. Acetaminophen is much gentler to the stomach than ibuprofen and in general shouldn’t be harmful, even taken daily. However, make sure you follow the guidelines for proper daily dosing. Again, once in awhile isn’t the end of the world, but the list of ingredients over time has taken a turn for the worse. Red dye, high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, cellulose and sorbitol. Even the Equate brand has some questionable ingredients: carrageenan, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sucralose, sodium benzoate, cellulose. Acetaminophen is the #1 cause of liver failure in children and overdosing causes 78,000 ER visits and 150 accidental deaths each year.

If you take more ibuprofen than recommended, it can lead to life-threatening side effects that will need medication attention. Always speak with your healthcare provider before taking ANY medications.

Try to get to the root of the problem. Reaching for a capsule every few hours isn’t the solution. Most of our inflammation comes from our diet. For inflammation, try turmeric capsules. If aspirin is an option for you, it is a bit better for you than ibuprofen since it is derived from willow bark.