Pain meds that you can count on
“Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are staples in our house,” explains Mary Bridgeman, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, Clinical Associate Professor, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She lives with her husband—also a pharmacist—and their two young children, ages 3 and 5.
Although these meds may be over the counter, Bridgeman cautions that people should still be wary for these reasons:
- Avoid ibuprofen if you have kidney problems or stomach ulcers
- Monitor acetaminophen usage as it can cause liver damage.
- Follow proper dosage for age and weight when administering to children.
- Be aware that adult products may not be suitable for children.
- Double-check with a doctor or pharmacist first if you have any questions.
Don’t feel the burn
Heartburn is a common complaint with easy remedies. Bridgeman recommends Tums or Rolaids: They contain calcium and can help alleviate that burning sensation. However, if you need faster relief she suggests a liquid like Mylanta or Equate, which contain the gas-relieving ingredient simethicone; your body can absorb liquids faster than a tablet.
If you have allergies, intranasal steroids like Flonase or Nasacort are Bridgeman’s go-to meds. “They’re shown to have fewer adverse side effects compared with an oral antihistamine or other products for allergies; selecting the best allergy-relief medication is, of course, based on the patient and the symptoms; consulting with a doctor or pharmacist can help guide in the decision-making process,” she says. Learn the reasons your pharmacist knows more about your health than your doctor.