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Over the Counter Pain Medications: Which is Right for You?

Do you know which over the counter (OTC) pain medication is right for your different aches and pains? Learn about the different types and formulas and be sure you are taking OTC medicines safely.

Which OTC Pain Medicine Should You Take?

First let’s take a look at the main types of pain medication available without a prescription.


  • Uses
    • Used to relieve headaches and other aches and pains
    • Also helps reduce fever
  • Pros
    • Typically doesn’t cause upset stomach, as other pain medications can
  • Cons
    • Does not reduce inflammation, so isn’t the best choice for pain caused by injury
  • Precautions
    • Taking too much can cause liver failure—never take more than the dose indicated on the label or more than your doctor has advised.
  • Tylenol is the most well-known OTC acetaminophen



  • Uses
    • Used to relieve pain and fever and to reduce pain and swelling from a muscle injury or arthritis.
  • Pros
    • Reduces inflammation, so can be used to relieve the pain caused by injuries
  • Cons
    • Can cause stomach problems in some users. People with kidney diseases, ulcers, or bleeding disorders should talk to their doctor before using an NSAID.

Urgent Care Pain Relief

If you have questions about the kind of OTC pain reliever you should be using, feel free to give us a call at 800-417-1164. If you are experiencing headaches, backaches, or other bodily aches and pains that are not responding to OTC pain relievers, please come see us at one of our Fast Track Urgent Care locations.

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