A study by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association found that one in two Americans misuses over-the-counter pain relievers. Doctors say that by not following the recommended directions, you are increasing your risk of severe medical complications.
Misuse of ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin could lead to stomach bleeding, abdominal pain, or ulcers. Local pharmacists say even acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, can also be extremely dangerous when not taken correctly. Misuse of Tylenol or drinking alcohol with Tylenol can lead to liver damage.
Pharmacists also warn that cold medicines, due to being a part of the amphetamine family, can cause the heart to race, blood pressure to rise, and could lead to a heart attack.
The study also showed that 42 percent of people surveyed said they weren't concerned with possible complications. Doctors and pharmacists urge people to follow the recommended directions on all over-the-counter medications.