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A study has found that 15 per cent of adults are taking too much ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

This type of medication is often taken to relieve pains and aches or when suffering from a cold.

Beside ibuprofen, other NSAID drugs include aspirin, naproxen, celecoxib, meloxicam and diclofenac.

Ibuprofen also goes by brand names such as Nurofen, Brufen and Calprofen and according to the NHS should only be taken three times a day unless your doctor has recommended otherwise.

Yet, in research from Pharmocoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 15 per cent of the 1,326 people in the study exceeded the daily dose.

Participants completed online diaries for one week where they would document their drug use for those seven days.

Results showed that 55 per cent of participants took ibuprofen three days a week, with 16 per cent taking it every day and 37 per cent admitting to taking another NSAID drug in that week.

According to the study's lead author, Dr.David Kaufman of Boston University, exceeding the recommended dosage can lead to serious health problems.

He told the New York Post:

NSAIDs are among the most commonly used medicines in the US and worldwide.

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.

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.

Although the research does not account for how long an individual has been taking ibuprofen previous to the study, it does show how worryingly dependent people are on these types of painkillers.

Doctors may occasionally prescribe ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, which are also available as a skin rub for health problems. But the study concludes that more education about its dangers needs to be made available to consumers.

In addition, Dr Liffert Vogt or the Academic Medical Centre at the University of Amsterdam believes that the drugs shouldn't be available so readily to the public.

He told the New York Post:

In my opinion, NSAIDs should not be available as an over-the-counter drug, because of all their deleterious effects.

For occasional use, acetaminophen (again in the right dose) is a much safer option and very efficacious as a painkiller.

But we know that many people use NSAIDs for indications other than pain, such as flu, allergies, fever – and there is no medical base that indicates that NSAIDs or acetaminophen are of any use under these circumstances.

HT New York Post

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