Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pain Relievers and Hepatitis C

Chronic or recurring pain plagues nearly one out of every two Americans. In addition to common and everyday body aches that many people experience, Hepatitis C patients also suffer from the virus's discomforting symptoms, such as headaches, liver pain and joint pain. While there are a variety of over-the-counter pain medications available, including Tylenol, Anacin 3, Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, Bayer, Anacin and Excedrin, individuals with HCV are still limited in their pain relief options. Since chronic Hepatitis C patients are susceptible to liver inflammation, cirrhosis, or even liver cancer, and the abovementioned pain relievers can possibly damage even a healthy liver, choosing one can be challenging.

The three chief components found in most over-the-counter painkillers, also known as analgesics, are acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. While all three drugs work as fever reducers, both ibuprofen and aspirin also act as an anti-inflammatory. These analgesics all have the potential to negatively impact the liver, though damage will most likely occur when taken in excess. For example, ibuprofen increases one's risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Prior to attempting pain management on your own, it is imperative that you discuss your symptoms and available options with your doctor. A knowledgeable physician will be able to give sound advice in regard to which analgesic may be best for you. The manufacturer, as well as a doctor, can provide appropriate dosing recommendations.

Rather then self-treating pain with over-the-counter medications and possibly harming an already overexerted liver, many Hepatitis C patients instead turn to non-medication options. Massage therapy, heat packs, topical pain relievers, and gentle stretching are some safe alternatives for pain management. Getting enough sleep is yet another safe way to aid in pain reduction.

To read this entire article and learn detailed precautions related to over-the-counter pain relievers, as well as more suggestions to safely alleviate pain, click here

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