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Aspirin good for headaches: All About Aspirin, Migraine, and Headache

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All About Aspirin, Migraine, and Headache

Why Is Aspirin Good for Migraine Treatment?

Aspirin has several benefits in the treatment of migraine and other types of headaches, the National Headache Foundation (NHF) says. This is because the pain associated with many headache types — including migraine — is chemically based.

Specifically, when you experience a headache, your body is overproducing a compound called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a hormone that helps send pain signals to the brain.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, aspirin blocks the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) that helps your body make prostaglandin. By blocking the effects of COX-1, aspirin reduces the levels of prostaglandin your body produces.

Even though aspirin circulates throughout the entire body after you swallow it, the drug acts only at sites where prostaglandin is being actively produced. When the production of prostaglandin is impaired, the pain signals sensed by the brain stop. No more pain signals, no more headache.

In addition, aspirin’s role as a platelet inhibitor, or anti-platelet drug, can also help with migraine. Aspirin reduces the ability of platelets to aggregate or stick together, according to the NHF.

In migraine, platelets aggregate, causing them to release serotonin into your bloodstream. This eventually leads to the vascular actions and other effects of migraine.

How Many Aspirins Can I Take for a Migraine Attack?

Aspirin can be purchased in various strengths. Chewable, flavored aspirin typically contains 81 mg (low-dose aspirin).

Each pill or capsule of regular-strength aspirin typically contains 325 mg of the drug, while the extra-strength version is 500 mg. For headache pain, the recommended adult dose of aspirin is 325 to 650 mg every three to four hours as needed, up to six times per day.

Research suggests low-dose aspirin (one tablet, at the 81 milligram dose), taken daily, can help prevent migraine with aura, while other studies indicate high-dose forms of the drug (up to 1,200 mg, or two or more tablets, daily) can relieve painful headaches and other symptoms of migraine attacks.

Although aspirin is available over the counter, without a prescription, talk to your doctor before starting aspirin therapy for migraine, as it may interfere with other medications you’re taking. In addition, your aspirin dose should be tailored to your migraine symptoms.

Can Aspirin Make Your Headache Worse?

While aspirin has been shown to help alleviate acute migraine pain, it shouldn’t be used more than 10 or more days per month for this purpose. This is because rebound — or medication-overuse — headaches can occur, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

It is possible to overdose on aspirin. This can occur if you take too much at any one time, or have a long period of consistently heavy aspirin use.

While too much aspirin may cause temporary side effects such as nausea and vomiting, more severe health complications can occur with an actual overdose. These include hallucinations, seizure, coma, and even death due to cardiac arrest.

Other side effects can also occur after taking aspirin, including:

  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Stomach and abdominal cramping or discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Peptic ulcer disease, in which painful sores develop in the lining of the stomach or top section of the small intestine
  • Heavy bleeding, particularly gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears

Side effects that are more serious and require prompt medical attention include loss of hearing, bleeding, and allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, skin rash, and swelling of the lips, mouth, and throat (a severe reaction known as angioedema).

Even though children can experience migraine attacks, aspirin shouldn’t be given to those under age 12 or to any children or teenagers who display symptoms of the flu or chicken pox. This is because aspirin can cause a condition called Reye syndrome, which affects the nervous system and the liver and can be lethal.

Despite its possible side effects, aspirin is a mainstay of headache relief, as legions of headache sufferers can attest. In a world of seemingly countless new medications, good old aspirin remains widely used.

If you turn to aspirin to soothe a headache, just be sure to use it sensibly: As with any medication, take the lowest dose of aspirin that is effective for you to avoid unwanted side effects.

Additional reporting by Brian P. Dunleavy.

PURLs: Treating migraine: The case for aspirin

J Fam Pract. 2014 Feb; 63(2): 94–96.

, MD and , MD

Vickie F. Ingledue

Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anne Mounsey

Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

James J. Stevermer, MD, PURLs EDITOR

James J. Stevermer, Department of Family Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia;

Vickie F. Ingledue, Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

Corresponding author. Copyright © 2014 The Family Physicians Inquiries NetworkThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

High-dose aspirin is an effective treatment for acute migraine. So why aren’t more physicians recommending it?

PRACTICE CHANGER

Recommend aspirin 975 mg (3 adult tablets) as a viable first-line treatment for acute migraine. Consider prescribing metoclopramide 10 mg to be taken with aspirin to markedly decrease associated nausea and help achieve maximum symptom relief.1

STRENGTH OF RECOMMENDATION

A: Based on a Cochrane meta-analysis of 13 good quality, randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Kirthi V, Derry S, Moore RA. Aspirin with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(4):CD008041.

ILLUSTRATIVE CASE

During a routine physical, a 37-year-old patient asks you what she should take for her occasional migraines. She describes a unilateral headache with associated nausea, vomiting, phonophobia, and photophobia. What medication should you recommend?

Migraine headache affects more than 37 million Americans.2 Women are 3 times more likely than men to suffer from migraine, with the highest prevalence among those between the ages of 30 and
50 years.3,4 More than 50% of patients report that episodes cause severe impairment, resulting in an average loss of 4 to 6 workdays each year due to migraine.5,6

Do you recommend this low-cost option?

Although many patients try over-the-counter headache remedies for migraine, when they do seek medical care for this condition, most (67%) turn to their primary care providers.7 But despite a 2010 Cochrane review showing aspirin’s efficacy for acute migraine,8 our experience—based on discussions with physicians at numerous residency programs—suggests that family physicians are not likely to recommend it.

Further evidence of the underuse of aspirin for migraine comes from a 2013 review of national surveillance studies,5 which found that in 2009, triptans accounted for nearly 80% of antimigraine analgesics prescribed during office visits. 5 Thus, when the Cochrane reviewers issued this update of the earlier meta-analysis, we welcomed the opportunity to feature a practice changer that might not be getting the “traction” it deserves.

STUDY SUMMARY: Multiple RCTs highlight aspirin’s efficacy

The 2013 Cochrane reviewers used the same 13 good quality, double-blind RCTs involving 4222 participants as the earlier review; no new studies that warranted inclusion were found. A total of 5261 episodes of migraine of moderate to severe intensity were treated with either aspirin alone or aspirin plus the antiemetic metoclopramide.1

Five studies had placebo controls, 4 had active controls (sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, ibuprofen, acetaminophen plus codeine, and ergotamine plus caffeine among them), and 4 had both active and placebo controls. Primary outcomes were pain-free status at
2 hours and headache relief (defined as a reduction in pain from moderate or severe to none or mild without the use of rescue medication) at 2 hours. Sustained headache relief at 24 hours was a secondary outcome.

Patients self-assessed their headache pain, using either a 4-point categorical scale (none, mild, moderate, or severe) or a 100 mm visual analog scale. On the analog scale, <30 mm was considered mild or no pain; ≥30 mm was considered moderate or severe.

Study participants were 18 to 65 years of age (the mean age range was 37-44), and their symptoms met International Headache Society criteria for migraine with or without aura.9 All participants had migraine symptoms for ≥12 months, with between one and 6 attacks of moderate to severe intensity per month prior to the study period.

In 6 studies (n=2027), investigators compared either 900 or 1000 mg aspirin alone with placebo. For both primary outcomes, aspirin alone was superior to placebo, with a number needed to treat (NNT) of 8.1 for 2-hour pain-free status and 4.9 for 2-hour headache relief. In 3 studies (n=1142), aspirin was superior to placebo for 24-hour headache relief, with an NNT of 6. 6. Aspirin plus metoclopramide was also better than placebo for primary and secondary outcomes, with an NNT of 8.8 for 2-hour pain-free status, 3.3 for 2-hour headache relief, and 6.2 for 24-hour headache relief. Based on subgroup analysis, aspirin plus metoclopramide was more effective than aspirin alone for 2-hour headache relief (P=.0131), but equivalent for 2-hour pain-free status and 24-hour headache relief. The addition of metoclopramide to aspirin significantly reduced nausea (P<.00006) and vomiting (P=.002).

In 2 studies (n=726), aspirin alone was equivalent to sumatriptan 50 mg for reaching pain-free and headache relief status at 2 hours. Two additional studies (n=523) compared aspirin plus metoclopramide with sumatriptan 100 mg and found them to be equal for 2-hour headache relief, but the aspirin combination was inferior to the triptan for pain-free status at 2 hours (n=528). Data were insufficient to compare the efficacy of aspirin with zolmitriptan, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen plus codeine.

There were no reports of gastrointestinal bleed or other serious adverse events attributable to aspirin therapy. Most adverse effects were mild or moderate disturbances of the digestive and nervous systems, with a number needed to harm of 34 (95% confidence interval, 18-340) for aspirin (with or without metoclopramide) vs placebo.

WHAT’S NEW: A reminder of aspirin’s efficacy in treating migraine

The update of this meta-analysis confirms that high-dose aspirin (900-1000 mg) is an effective treatment for migraine headache in adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years. The addition of metoclopramide reduces nausea and vomiting, but offers little if any benefit for headache/pain relief.

CAVEATS: Lack of comparison with other treatments

Data were insufficient to compare the efficacy of aspirin with zolmitriptan, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alone, or acetaminophen plus codeine. Aspirin should be used with caution in patients with chronic renal disease and/or a history of peptic ulcer disease.

CHALLENGES TO IMPLEMENTATION: Patients want a prescription

Patients often expect a prescription when they visit a physician with complaints of migraine headache and may feel shortchanged if they’re told to take an aspirin. Providing a prescription for the antiemetic metoclopramide, as well as a brief explanation of the evidence indicating that aspirin is effective for migraine, may adequately address such expectations.

Acknowledgments

The PURLs Surveillance System was supported in part by Grant Number UL1RR024999 from the National Center for Research Resources, a Clinical Translational Science Award to the University of Chicago. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.

Contributor Information

Vickie F. Ingledue, Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Anne Mounsey, Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

References

1. Kirthi V, Derry S, Moore RA. Aspirin with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2013;4:CD008041. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]3. Lipton RB, Stewart WF, Diamond S, et al. Prevalence and burden of migraine in the United States: data from the American Migraine Study II. Headache . 2001;41:646–657. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]4. Victor TW, Hu X, Campbell JC, et al. Migraine prevalence by age and sex in the United States: a life-span study. Cephalalgia . 2010;9:1065–1072. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]5. Smitherman TA, Burch R, Sheikh H, et al. The prevalence, impact, and treatment of migraine and severe headaches in the United States: a review of statistics from national surveillance studies. Headache . 2013;53:427–436. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]6. Hu X, Markson LE, Lipton RB, et al. Burden of migraine in the United States: disability and economic costs. . Arch intern Med . 1999;159:813–818. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]7. Gibbs TS, Fleischer AB Jr, Feldman SR, et al. Health care utilization in patients with migraine: demographics and patterns of care in the ambulatory setting. . Headache . 2003;43:330–335. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]8. Kirthi V, Derry S, Moore RA. Aspirin with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2013;4:CD008041. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]9. The internal classification of headache disorders. 2nd ed. . Cephalalgia . 2004;24(suppl 1):S9–S160. [Google Scholar]

Adult Low Dose Aspirin Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing

If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, take it exactly as prescribed.

Take this medication by mouth. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) with it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after you have taken this drug. If stomach upset occurs while you are taking this medication, you may take it with food or milk.

Swallow enteric-coated tablets whole. Do not crush or chew enteric-coated tablets. Doing so can increase stomach upset.

Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Read the product label to find recommendations on how many tablets you can take in a 24-hour period and how long you may self-treat before seeking medical advice. Do not take more medication or take it for longer than recommended unless directed by your doctor. Use the smallest effective dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If you are taking this medication for self-treatment of headache, seek immediate medical attention if you also have trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, or sudden vision changes. Before using this drug, consult a doctor or pharmacist if you have headaches caused by head injury, coughing, or bending, or if you have a headache with persistent/severe vomiting, fever, and stiff neck.

If you are taking this medication as needed (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medicine may not work as well. Aspirin with a special coating (enteric coating) or slow release may take longer to stop pain because it is absorbed more slowly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help select the best type of aspirin for you.

You should not take this medication for self-treatment of pain for longer than 10 days. You should not use this drug to self-treat a fever that lasts longer than 3 days. In these cases, consult a doctor because you may have a more serious condition. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop ringing in the ears or difficulty hearing.

If your condition persists or worsens (such as new or unusual symptoms, redness/swelling of the painful area, pain/fever that does not go away or gets worse) or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, tell your doctor promptly.

Excedrin: Uses, Dosage & Side Effects

Generic name: acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (ah SEET a MIN oh fen, ASP i rin, and KAF een)
Brand name: Excedrin
Drug class: Analgesic combinations

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on June 14, 2021.

What is Excedrin?

Excedrin contains a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It relaxes muscle contractions in blood vessels to improve blood flow.

Excedrin is used to treat pain caused by tension headaches, migraine headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, toothaches, the common cold, or nasal congestion.

Excedrin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

Do not give Excedrin to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.

Do not take more Excedrin than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).

Aspirin may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as bloody or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction. Stop taking Excedrin and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Before taking this medicine

Do not give Excedrin to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.

You should not use Excedrin if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, caffeine, or any NSAIDs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Orudis, Indocin, Lodine, Voltaren, Toradol, Mobic, Relafen, Feldene, and others).

Aspirin may cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are taking Excedrin.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Excedrin if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • liver disease, cirrhosis, a history of alcoholism, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day;

  • asthma or seasonal allergies;

  • fever with a stiff neck;

  • stomach ulcer, stomach or intestinal bleeding, ulcerative colitis;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;

  • kidney disease; or

  • if you use medicine to treat glaucoma or prevent blood clots.

If you take Excedrin to treat headache pain, seek medical attention if you have:

  • a headache so bad you have to lie down;

  • a headache that causes vomiting;

  • what feels like the worst headache you’ve ever had;

  • a headache that seems different from your usual headaches;

  • a headache every day;

  • a headache after coughing, bending, exercising, or head injury;

  • if you have never had migraines diagnosed by a doctor; or

  • if you are having your first headache after age 50.

Aspirin may be harmful to an unborn baby’s heart, and may also reduce birth weight or have other dangerous effects. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are taking Excedrin.

Aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Excedrin.

How should I take Excedrin?

Use Excedrin exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Take Excedrin with food or milk if it makes your stomach upset.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever lasting longer than 3 days, or any swelling or pain lasting longer than 10 days.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Excedrin.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Excedrin. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store Excedrin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Excedrin is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Overdose symptoms may also include ringing in your ears, headache, diarrhea, hallucinations, fast or slow heart rate, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid?

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Excedrin. Alcohol may increase your risk of stomach bleeding while taking aspirin, or liver damage while taking acetaminophen.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cough, cold, allergy, pain, menstrual symptom, or fever medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Aspirin and caffeine are also contained in many combination medicines. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen, APAP, aspirin, or caffeine.

Avoid taking another NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

Avoid coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks or other sources of caffeine while taking this medication. They can add to the side effects of the caffeine in the medication.

Excedrin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Excedrin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking Excedrin and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.

Stop using Excedrin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe anxiety, agitation, confusion, panic;

  • easy bruising or bleeding;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • if you feel very thirsty or hot, are unable to urinate, and have heavy sweating or hot and dry skin;

  • symptoms of stomach bleeding–bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • high potassium–slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling; or

  • liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common Excedrin side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, heartburn;

  • depressed mood, feeling anxious or restless; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Excedrin?

Other drugs may interact with Excedrin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Popular FAQ

Excedrin Migraine can work as quickly as 30 minutes to relieve your migraine pain. In clinical studies, patients with moderate to severe migraines experienced pain relief with one dose and it lasted up to 6 hours. Continue reading

Each tablet of Excedrin Migraine contains 65 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, 250 mg of acetaminophen, and 250 mg of aspirin. The dose for adults is 2 caplets or geltabs with a glass of water. Do not take more than two tablets in any 24-hour period, unless directed by a doctor. Continue reading

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Excedrin only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

Copyright 1996-2021 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02.

Should you take Tylenol, Advil, or aspirin for pain? Here’s what the evidence says.

Welcome to Dear Julia, a weekly column where readers can submit everyday health questions on anything from the science of hangovers to the mysteries of back pain. Julia Belluz will sift through the research and consult with experts in the field to figure out how science can help us live happier and healthier lives.

Have a question? Use our submission form or ask @juliaoftoronto on Twitter.

What’s the difference between Tylenol, Advil, and aspirin? Which is the best to take for pain?

I used to take acetaminophen (usually referred to by its brand name, Tylenol) for the occasional headache or sore muscle, mostly because that’s what we used in my house growing up. I didn’t think much about whether it was more or less effective than any other type of over-the-counter pain reliever, and I suspect the same is true for many folks. Acetaminophen, after all, is the most popular over-the-counter painkiller worldwide.

So I was surprised when I found out there’s a huge gap between how pain researchers think about this drug and how the public does. More specifically, every researcher I contacted for this piece said some variation of what Andrew Moore, a pain researcher at Oxford University, told me: Tylenol doesn’t actually work that well for pain. To be more exact, he said, “I can’t imagine why anybody would take acetaminophen.”

Moore has done a number of systematic reviews on over-the-counter pain medications, looking at all the available evidence to figure out which ones work best for various problems. I asked him to describe the overall success rates for the most common three: acetaminophen (like Tylenol), ibuprofen (like Advil), and aspirin.

Like all good evidence-based medicine thinkers, he was able to provide a very practical answer: “If you’re talking about aspirin in doses of 500 to 1,000 mg or two tablets, 30 percent of people get relief from acute pain. For acetaminophen at doses of 500 to 1,000 mg, about 40 percent have a success. For ibuprofen, in its normal formulation at something around 400 mg or two tablets, about 50 percent have success.”

Now, Moore was referring here to acute pain that strikes after a specific event, like a surgery, a cut, or a burn, but his message was simple: Ibuprofen seems to work best, followed by acetaminophen, and then aspirin.

(Maridav/Shutterstock)

For ongoing (or chronic) pain — a sore lower back, say, or the kind of degenerative arthritis that typically develops with age — ibuprofen still outperforms acetaminophen.

A 2015 systematic review of high-quality evidence, published in the BMJ, found that acetaminophen didn’t seem to help most sufferers of chronic low back pain, and that it barely alleviates pain in people with osteoarthritis. As the researchers wrote, “We found that [acetaminophen] is ineffective on both pain and disability outcomes for low back pain in the immediate and short term and is not clinically superior to placebo on both pain and disability outcomes for osteoarthritis.”

A limitation of the study is that the evidence on acetaminophen was mainly for acute low back pain, but as the University of Leeds’s Philip Conaghan explained, “There is very little long-term data [on chronic back pain], and if a drug doesn’t work in the acute problem, it seems unlikely to work in the chronic phase — though back pain may be even more complex than osteoarthritis pain.”

The study also noted that patients on acetaminophen “are nearly four times more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests compared with those taking oral placebo.”

Other studies, like this well-designed randomized control trial of people with knee pain, have similar conclusions: Acetaminophen doesn’t perform as well as ibuprofen, and it’s linked to higher rates of liver problems. (Ibuprofen also has potential side effects; more on that below.)

So what about the occasional headache? What works best for that?

It turns out this is another fascinating problem area for pain researchers. Moore has looked at all the evidence for what he calls “infrequent tension headaches” and found “it is surprising how poor [the research] is and how little it tells us.” Either the outcomes in studies are badly defined, the studies have too few participants to say anything concrete, or many people in the studies actually seem to have chronic headaches as opposed to the ordinary ones the researchers are allegedly studying.

“Most people would say, if you look at the data, take an ibuprofen tablet,” Moore said. “Acetaminophen is just not a very good analgesic [pain reliever], yet it’s the go-to drug because it’s thought to be safe.”

And that’s where things get even more interesting: Acetaminophen isn’t actually that safe.

“We always thought [acetaminophen] was safe, but there are increasing signals of accidental overdose in people who are regularly using it for chronic pain, and some liver toxicity,” explained Conaghan, who has studied adverse events data related to this popular drug.

Between 1998 and 2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. There are also hundreds of related deaths every year — though keep in mind that millions of people take drugs with acetaminophen, so these more extreme side effects are rare (especially if you’re only taking them in small doses occasionally). Still, for the drug’s minimal pain-killing benefits, the risks may not be worth it.

“Don’t believe that just because something is over-the-counter, it’s safe,” Conaghan added. (He advised people to see their doctor if they’re taking any of these painkillers for more than a few days — particularly if they’re on other drugs already.)

Kay Brune, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander University who has also studied the toxicity of painkillers, was even more direct in his thoughts on acetaminophen: “It’s an old drug, obsolete, and should be avoided altogether.”

Aspirin is safer than acetaminophen, he said, though to be used as a pain reliever it requires much higher doses — which can have side effects like stomach upset. Aspirin also interferes with blood coagulation for days after taking it. “If you take one gram of aspirin,” Brune explained, “you’re at risk of bleeding for another four days.” This is why aspirin has its place as a protective agent against strokes and heart attacks for people at a higher risk.

Ibuprofen doesn’t have these two problems — it’s less toxic than the others in the doses that give people pain relief. But it has other side effects. “Ibuprofen puts people at risk of bleeds in the gastrointestinal tract and kidney damage — so it’s not free of risk,” said Brune. Using it in high doses also seems to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke — one reason the Food and Drug Administration recently warned people should only use ibuprofen (and other “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,” or NSAIDS, like naproxen) for short periods of time and in small amounts.

I asked Brune about what he’d suggest for the occasional headache or sore muscle. “Taking 400 mg of ibuprofen won’t cause measurable harm,” he answered. “Of all drugs we have available, for most indications, it’s also the most effective one.”

Is acetaminophen good for anything?

If the research community seems to have sided with ibuprofen for pain, is acetaminophen good for anything?

Yes. There are some groups of people with health complications who shouldn’t take ibuprofen. For example, patients with kidney, gastric, cardiovascular, or bleeding problems may need to avoid NSAIDS like ibuprofen, so doctors might suggest Tylenol in these cases.

There’s also some evidence that NSAIDS may increase the risk of psychosis and cognitive impairment in the elderly, so doctors may avoid prescribing these drugs for older patients. And Tylenol is generally considered safer than Advil or aspirin for pregnant women.

Fever is another area where acetaminophen can help, said Moore. According to one systematic review, acetaminophen seems to be safe for treating very young kids with fever, and you can give children as young as 3 months old acetaminophen, whereas you need to wait until kids are at least 6 months old to safely treat them with ibuprofen. This may help to explain the popularity of drugs like Tylenol for kids.

But a final caveat here: If your child is older than 6 months, it’s not all that clear that acetaminophen outperforms ibuprofen for reducing fevers, and the same is true for adults. So keep that in mind the next time you confront your medicine cabinet.

Send your questions to Julia via the submission form or @juliaoftoronto on Twitter. Read more about Dear Julia here.


Watch: How Americans got stuck with endless drug ads

Tylenol® and Your Aspirin Use

Tylenol® and Your Aspirin Use | TYLENOL®
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Aspirin Heart Therapy

TYLENOL® won’t interfere with your aspirin heart therapy. That’s a benefit worth saving.

If you’ve talked to your doctor about taking aspirin for heart health, you’re not alone. The American Heart Association recommends people at high risk of heart attack should take a daily low-dose of aspirin (if told by their healthcare provider) and that heart attack survivors regularly take low-dose aspirin. Taking aspirin for heart health is a decision you should make with your doctor. They can help you to understand that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in TYLENOL®, gives you strong pain relief and won’t interfere with your aspirin heart therapy the way ibuprofen can.

NOTE: Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone so please be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

Things to consider if you are on aspirin heart therapy*

If you have experienced a heart attack, cardiac rehabilitation may help restore your heart health

Eat a heart-healthy diet consisting of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains

Consider TYLENOL® for pain relief, because it won’t interfere with the benefits of aspirin heart therapy

*Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

How some pain relievers can interact with your aspirin heart therapy

Taking aspirin or other NSAIDs to treat pain when you’re already on aspirin heart therapy can increase your risk of side effects such as stomach bleeding. Ask your doctor for pain relief recommendations if you are on aspirin heart therapy.

When you take ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Advil® & MOTRIN®, it can compete with the positive benefits of your aspirin heart therapy. Specifically, it blocks certain receptors that are needed for aspirin’s cardiovascular effects. 

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in TYLENOL®, can be an appropriate pain relief option for patients on aspirin heart therapy because it does not inhibit the heart-healthy benefits of your aspirin therapy and does not irritate the stomach the way that naproxen sodium or even ibuprofen can. For people on aspirin heart therapy, TYLENOL® is the brand of pain reliever recommended most often by doctors, more than all other brands combined.

Pain relief you can count on.

Knowing how to read the label is important.

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How Aspirin Finds the Headache


Today, aspirin looks for your headache. The
University of Houston’s College of Engineering
presents this series about the machines that make
our civilization run, and the people whose
ingenuity created them.


How Does Aspirin Find
a Headache?
That’s the title of yet another
book by David Feldman. He’s done many books filled
with questions like that, along with their answers.
Feldman’s questions serve as a kind of smelling
salts for my mind.


Try that aspirin question: I always thought aspirin
just entered the blood and reduced pain wherever
the blood went. Aspirin does enter the blood, but
then it acts selectively on pain and inflammation.
Not ’til the 1970s did pharmacologists figure out
how it did that. Aspirin attacks a certain fatty
acid that serves as an early warning system by
increasing the sensitivity of pain receptors.
Aspirin turns those painful warning bells off.


Feldman’s “How” and “Why” books remind us to keep
raising questions we’d otherwise forget to ask. The
world is neither simple nor obvious, and its
secrets will be kept from us as long as we fail to
ask. So let’s try four more questions:


First, should I drain that water off top of my
yogurt? Well now: That isn’t water at all. It’s
whey, as in “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
eating her curds and whey.” Whey contains sugar,
minerals, protein, and nutrients. It’s part of what
you pay for when you buy yogurt. So you definitely
want to mix it back in.


Next, why are the Muppets all left-handed? (I
hadn’t realized they were. But they are!)
Puppeteers, it seems, reach upward to carry a
puppet, like a glove, on their right hand. They use
their left hand to operate wires that control the
arms. It’s a lot easier to give the dominant action
to the puppet’s left hand.


Why did a rabbit once have to die to indicate
pregnancy? The old test involved injecting a rabbit
with the woman’s urine. Then, after a day or so,
the rabbit was killed so its ovaries could be
inspected. It turns out the rabbit died either way.
The test was later improved to give results without
killing the rabbit at all.


Finally, where did the dollar sign come from? We’ve
been told it’s the combined initials for United
States — a U on top of an S with the bottom of the
U dropped off. The problem with that is, dollar
signs were used long before there was a United
States.


The first European coins on this continent were
Spanish pesos. They circulated and were widely used
in the Colonies during the 18th century. The
abbreviation for pesos was an S superposed on a P
and that devolved into the dollar sign. Our dollar
sign turns out to be a borrowed sign for pesos.


Things are seldom what they seem. Ask a question –
I mean really ask in the hope of being surprised –
and you will be surprised. So many of our questions
really aim only to confirm what we already believe.
But the real fun is the down-and-dirty business of
rooting out our own ignorance.


I’m John Lienhard, at the University of Houston,
where we’re interested in the way inventive minds
work.



(Theme music)

90,000 Aspirin – to drink or not to drink in order to live well and long?

More than once at the reception I came across a situation when a patient without any obvious cardiovascular pathology prescribed cardiomagnyl (or thromboASC, aspirin cardio, etc.) for himself, being sure that absolutely everyone at his age (that is, “after 45 –50 years ”) precisely this kind of prevention of cardiovascular diseases is needed. After all, the neighbor also drinks, they say on TV what is needed, and so on …

Is it really necessary?

The fact is that modern recommendations for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) speak of the need for lifelong intake of aspirin by those people who have already suffered any cardiovascular events.These include heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attacks. As for the use of aspirin by people who have no history of cardiovascular diseases at all, including those listed above, today the routine prescription of aspirin (or other antithrombotic drugs) is not recommended for such patients due to the lack of an evidence base confirming first of all, the safety of such prophylaxis in this category of patients.

The most common side effect when taking aspirin is the negative effect on the stomach lining.Also, with its long-term use, the risk of bleeding of various localization (gastrointestinal, hemorrhoidal, nasal, etc.) increases, and this fact cannot be neglected, because in certain situations such bleeding can become life-threatening.

In this regard, before prescribing aspirin to a patient, the doctor must assess the benefits and risks of taking it. It has been proven that in patients who have had a heart attack or stroke, the benefits of prophylactic aspirin outweigh the possible risk of bleeding, therefore, its use is recommended.And the role of aspirin in individuals who do not have a history of either one or the other has not been fully studied. The scientific data that we have to date indicates the absence of a clear benefit from such prevention and, at the same time, an increased risk of bleeding of various localization. Nevertheless, the issue remains poorly understood, large studies continue, and we are awaiting their results.

As for patients of older age groups who have any risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases (arterial hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels, etc.)), patients with diabetes mellitus, the situation is about the same: until now, it has not been revealed that the benefits of taking aspirin outweigh the risk of bleeding in such patients, and therefore it cannot be recommended routinely either.

When else should you not take aspirin?

– With high blood pressure.

Because taking it can increase in this case the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.In the presence of hypertension, it is necessary to take aspirin only when adequate blood pressure control has been achieved.

– If you suspect a stroke.

If we are dealing with a suspected stroke (a person suddenly developed severe weakness in the arm or leg, speech, movement disorders, the corner of the mouth is lowered, he cannot smile, etc.), in no case should aspirin be given in this situation. There are no objective signs that allow to unambiguously differentiate the hemorrhagic (associated with cerebral hemorrhage) and ischemic (associated with blockage of the cerebral artery by an atherosclerotic plaque) type of stroke.And if the stroke is hemorrhagic, and we give such a person aspirin, then it’s scary to imagine how it could end …

All you need to do if you suspect a person has a stroke is to put him in a horizontal position, try to calm him down and call an ambulance as soon as possible.

When should you take aspirin?

Only when he was appointed by a doctor who has assessed the benefits and risks of taking it and who knows the indications for its appointment.Blood platelet levels, taking other drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and kidney function should also always be considered before prescribing this drug.

As a rule, aspirin is always indicated for coronary heart disease, a previous heart attack, noncardioembolic ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, with arterial atherosclerosis, arterial stenting.

And the last thing.

If you decide to take seriously your health, find out what measures you need to take to prevent cardiovascular diseases, it is better to contact a therapist or cardiologist.The doctor will prescribe the necessary tests, an electrocardiogram and other necessary examinations, measure your blood pressure, find out if you have any risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, calculate your cardiovascular risk and, based on this, give the necessary recommendations for preventive measures. And, believe me, the most important thing that you have to talk about most often is about changing your lifestyle. Quitting smoking, normalizing body weight, regular aerobic exercise (walking for at least 30 minutes a day), a diet with limited animal fats – these are the main measures, without which the prevention of CVD will be considered at least defective, at most ineffective.And taking medications may not be needed at all if all these measures are followed!

Be healthy!

90,000 Aspirin, COVID-19 and conspiracy. Do they hide the truth from us?

What kind of fruit is it and what is it eaten with?

To begin with, aspirin is not a fruit or a vegetable, but a descendant of a herbal preparation – willow bark extract. No, no, do not rush to chop down the willow, because this extract itself is very toxic.It took the scientists time to isolate the main substance (the so-called salicin), study its properties, and neutralize toxicity. And only 70 years later, a relatively safe acetylsalicylic acid was synthesized. This is our dear aspirin.

Acetylsalicylic acid – this is how the international name of aspirin sounds – it is a drug of the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), its main effects:

– anti-inflammatory
– analgesic
– antipyretic
– antiplatelet

Aspirin is the oldest drug.It is well studied, it is included in the list of essential medicines of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as in the list of vital medicines of the Russian Federation.

Back in 1950, aspirin was even included in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling pain reliever.

Indeed, aspirin helps with high fever, headache and toothache, thrombosis, as a prophylaxis of heart attacks and even coronavirus! Such a unique and amazing drug!

But wait! Something is wrong here.Let’s figure it out.

Myth 1: Aspirin helps with coronavirus

An assertion spreads on the World Wide Web (even a video on this topic was filmed) of approximately the following plan (excerpts):

– “Coronavirus is not a virus, but a bacterium amplified by electromagnetic radiation 5G … “.

– “… They opened the body, arms, legs and other parts of the body and realized that there was dilated and coagulated blood in the veins, all the veins and arteries were filled with blood clots that impede the normal flow of blood, carrying oxygen to all organs, mainly to the brain, heart and lungs, and the patient eventually dies. “

– “We know that all governments in the world are obliged to comply with WHO recommendations, but Italy has violated the norm … Now WHO … will be sued all over the world – for hiding so many deaths and the collapse of the economies of many countries of the world … And everyone will understand why the order was issued to immediately bury the bodies without autopsy … and mark them as highly contaminating … ”.

Let’s analyze point by point what is wrong here.

First, SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus, i.e. a virus, not a bacterium.This is proven by hundreds of studies around the world and is not questioned. Naturally, 5G towers have nothing to do with it either.

Secondly, WHO is an advisory body, i.e. what the WHO prescribes are recommendations, not binding. Each country decides for itself whether to follow them or not.

Accordingly, even if the WHO recommends not to do autopsies, the decision still remains with the state itself. However, it must be remembered that this is a great risk and that cases of infection from a deceased patient have been described.Therefore, it is important to assess the benefit-risk ratio in this matter, and not look all over for conspiracy theories.

By the way, the ban on autopsy was given by the Italian Ministry of Health itself. True, then it allowed autopsies when absolutely necessary and with the maximum observance of security conditions. The question is, where is the WHO then?

Third, does the coronavirus actually cause thrombosis and not pneumonia? True, but not quite. The main target of coronavirus is lung tissue, and the main consequence is viral pneumonia.However, there is an interesting fact: COVID-19 can cause disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome (DIC), in other words, it is a lot of blood clots throughout the body. And this, in fact, is not news to doctors. Anticoagulants (substances that prevent blood clotting at the protein level) have long been included in the standards of care.

Fourth, and this is the main question: is aspirin needed against coronavirus?

We have already written that with coronavirus, DIC syndrome can develop.However, aspirin, being an antiplatelet agent, will not fix the root of the problem. It will only remove one of the consequences of ICE – it will prevent platelets from sticking together, but the cause of thrombosis lies much deeper.

With coronavirus infection, a cascade of reactions occurs, ranging from damage to the vascular wall and ending with disturbances in the work of blood coagulation factors. Aspirin will not cope with these failures.

Myth 2: I read about some dangerous disease in children, it is associated with COVID-19.And children with coronavirus should definitely take aspirin

This is a dangerous misconception. The fact is that aspirin is prohibited for children, but few people know about it. The danger of the drug for children is the risk of Reye’s syndrome (acute hepatic encephalopathy, white hepatic disease). Taking aspirin increases the likelihood of this disease by 35 times!

In this regard, there is an interesting hypothesis why Rasputin enjoyed such a huge influence on the family of the last Russian tsar.He forbade the young Tsarevich Alexei to give aspirin, which he was intensively treated by the court doctors and which is deadly with hemophilia. The boy felt better, and the crowned spouses believed in the strength and might of Father Gregory.

However, one cannot but tell about a mysterious disease that really happens in children and when it really needs aspirin – one of the rare exceptions for prescribing aspirin to children. It’s about Kawasaki disease. This is systemic vasculitis (i.e., the vessels throughout the body are affected), which occurs mainly in young children.The disease is quite rare, but against the background of the coronavirus epidemic, the number of Kawasaki-like syndromes among children has sharply increased.

It is interesting to note that some children with this syndrome tested positive for coronavirus. Even those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA still found antibodies to it in their blood. Researchers speculate that the new virus may be a trigger for Kawasaki disease.

It follows from this that if you suspect a coronavirus in children, you need to remember the likelihood of developing Kawasaki disease.But this does not mean at all that you should immediately give aspirin! This information is primarily for physicians, but not for self-administration of aspirin and other medications. Remember that self-medication can be more dangerous than the disease itself!

Myth 3: Aspirin can be obtained without a prescription, it has many good properties, and there is nothing wrong with taking it to prevent Rhea are just a few examples of the complications / side effects of taking aspirin.Yes, this drug is freely available in the Russian Federation and in many other countries, however, in addition to the advantages, you need to know about the other side of the coin. That is why it is categorically not recommended to use it without a doctor’s prescription. However, like other medicines.

Take care of your health, because it is in your hands.

Tansy for the treatment of cancer and headache

Tansy: dosage, beneficial properties

Suffering from chronic headaches and migraines? Looking for a natural remedy that can effectively deal with this pain? Then perhaps you should try maiden tansy, a plant well known for its ability to relieve headaches.

For hundreds of years, this plant has been used in folk medicine to treat fever, headache, stomach pain, toothache, insect bites, infertility, menstrual problems, and to facilitate childbirth. Now tansy has also begun to be used for migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

The maiden tansy owes its ability to relieve pain to the compound parthenolide, which fights against the dilation of blood vessels that occurs with migraines.This substance may be even more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin!

What is maiden tansy?

Maiden tansy ( Tanacetum parthenium ) is a herb of the Asteraceae family ( Asteraceae ) with small daisy-like flowers. The plant is native to the Balkan Mountains in eastern Europe. It now grows throughout Europe, as well as in the Americas.

The dried leaves (sometimes also flowers and stems) are used to prepare food supplements in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. Sometimes the leaves are consumed fresh.

The chemical composition of tansy is well understood; among the most important components of the plant are sesquiterpene lactones, the main of which is parthenolide (it is he who gives the plant anti-inflammatory properties). Tansy also contains flavonoids and volatile oils.

Health Benefits

1.Relieves headache

Research shows that consuming girl tansy helps reduce the incidence of migraines and other headache symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise.

A number of studies involving volunteers have shown a positive effect of tansy on the treatment and prevention of migraines. In the UK, a survey of 270 people with migraines found that more than 70% of those surveyed feel much better if they eat 2-3 fresh leaves of the plant daily.

Another study, published in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation , used a combination of tansy and white willow bark, which contains chemicals found in aspirin. Participants in the experiment who took this mixture twice a day for 12 weeks noted a decrease in migraine attacks, and the pain became less intense and lasting.

What’s more, a systematic review by the UK’s School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences compared the results of six studies.Scientists have found that tansy is effective in preventing migraine headaches and in most cases does not cause side effects.

Thus, a number of studies confirm that tansy is an effective natural remedy for migraines and headaches.

2. Soothes rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that typically affects small joints in the hands and feet.An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Maiden tansy is believed to interfere with the production of prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance that causes pain and inflammation.

In a 1989 study, women with symptomatic rheumatoid arthritis were given maiden tansy as a symptom relief agent (earlier laboratory experiments had confirmed the plant’s ability to reduce inflammation).The participants in the experiment received 76 mg of dry tansy in the form of a powder, although the most effective dose was considered to be 100-125 mg. Scientists concluded that perhaps in higher doses, the plant could be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis.

In 2009, another study by the Department of Orthopedics at the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University, Japan, also found that parthenolide “reduced the severity of joint injuries in an experimental animal model.” These observations suggest that tansy can become part of the diet for arthritis, but it is worth noting the need for a deeper study of its properties.

3. Treats dermatitis

Dermatitis is a general term describing inflammation of the skin. It has many reasons and manifests itself in very different forms. Dermatitis usually occurs as itching and rash on a swollen and / or reddened area of ​​the skin. Maiden tansy has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, which means it can help relieve redness.

Studies have shown that the plant can reduce the number of damaged skin cells, reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of the skin.In 2009, scientists discovered that tansy extract (without parthenolide) has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, this herb can help relieve inflammation in the skin without the risk of immune sensitization.

If you suffer from rosacea or regularly experience a rash, a topical product with the addition of maiden’s tansy can help you cope with these ailments. In addition, the plant protects the skin from UV rays.

4. Possibly fighting cancer

The study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food , demonstrated the anticancer effect of maiden tansy extract on two human breast cancer cell cultures (Hs605T and MCF-7) and one human cervical cancer cell culture (SiHa). Ethanol extract of tansy inhibits the growth of all three cultures of cancer cells.

Among the plant constituents tested (parthenolide, camphor, luteolin and apigenin), parthenolide showed the strongest inhibitory effect.Despite the need for further study, promising research results suggest that tansy may be a natural treatment for cancer.

5. Prevents blood clots

Blood usually flows freely and evenly through the vessels, but if plaque or blood clots form in the vessels, the result can be very serious health problems or even death. Blood clots in blood vessels (thrombosis) can lead to heart attacks or stroke.

Research has shown that tansy may have antithrombotic effects. As an antithrombotic agent, it prevents the formation and growth of plaque, thus reducing the risk of death.

Maiden tansy and butterbur

Like maiden tansy, butterbur has long been used as a natural remedy for migraines and headaches. Both plants are able to cope with a number of other diseases. However, it is very difficult to find a nutritional supplement with both types of plants.

Butterbur in folk medicine is used to treat ailments such as:

  • Pain
  • Migraine
  • Alarm
  • Cough
  • Heat
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Diseases of the urinary tract
  • Acceleration of wound healing (external)

Today butterbur is used for:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Allergic reactions on the skin
  • Asthma
  • Migraine

Traditionally, maiden tansy is used for:

  • Heat
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Toothache
  • Insect bites
  • Infertility
  • Problems with menstruation and difficult labor

Recently, tansy has been increasingly used to treat the following symptoms:

  • Migraine
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Both plants can be used for:

  • Pain
  • Heat
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Skin problems
  • Asthma
  • Allergies

Interesting Facts

The English name of the plant ( feverfew ) comes from the Latin word f ebrigua , which means “removing heat”.The Greek physician Dioscorides, who lived in the 1st century AD. e., prescribed tansy for “all hot inflammations.”

The ancient Greeks called maiden tansy “P arthenium , presumably because the plant was used to heal those who fell from the Parthenon during its construction in the 5th century BC. NS. Dioscorides used it as an antipyretic agent. In the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was used as an aspirin.

In Central and South America, maiden tansy has been used to treat a variety of ailments.The Andes Indians prized her ability to fight colic, kidney pain, morning sickness and stomach pain.

Costa Ricans use a decoction of tansy to improve digestion, as a cardiotonic, emmenagogue (an herb to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic and uterine region) and an enema for worms. In Mexico, the plant is used as an antispasmodic and tonic to normalize menstruation. In Venezuela, tansy is used to treat ear pain.

Dosage

Maiden tansy supplements can be found in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract form.Tansy in preparations is present in fresh, freeze-dried or dried form. The dietary supplements used in clinical trials contain a standard dose of parthenolide (not less than 0.2%).

To prevent or stop headache, an adult needs to take 100-300 mg of tansy no more than 4 times a day with a parthenolide content of 0.2% to 0.4%. For children aged 2 years and older, the rate is calculated depending on the weight. Typically, the adult dosage for most herbs is based on a 70 kg person.Thus, if a child weighs 20 kg, then the amount suitable for him will be approximately 1/3.

Freeze dried tansy capsules are more popular because fresh leaves have a bitter taste and can irritate the mouth. The leaves are added to tea, but the bitterness still remains

Side effects and interactions with other drugs

Maiden tansy should not be given to children under the age of two.In the case of older children, we recommend consulting a doctor before use and choosing a safe dosage.

Tansy is not recommended for pregnant women, as the plant can provoke uterine contractions, which increases the risk of miscarriage or premature birth. Lactating women should also stop eating this plant.

Tansy can cause an allergic reaction. If you are sensitive to plants of the Aster family (including ragweed or chrysanthemum), then it is likely that tansy will also cause you an allergy.

There are currently no reported serious side effects from tansy, but the herb can cause abdominal pain, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and nervousness. Some people who chew fresh tansy leaves may develop mouth sores, loss of taste, and swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth.

Do not take tansy with aspirin, ginkgo biloba, or other blood thinners.If you have any chronic illness or are taking medications that thin the blood or are broken down by the liver, consult your doctor before using tansy. If you have surgery planned, tell your doctor about taking the herb, as it may interact with anesthesia.

If you have been taking tansy for more than one week, do not stop taking it abruptly. It can cause headaches, anxiety, fatigue, muscle stiffness and / or joint pain.

Final conclusions

    Maiden tansy is a popular herb in both folk and modern medicine. Without a doubt, it is one of the most effective natural remedies for migraines and headaches. But the possibilities of the plant do not end there. Also, don’t forget:

  • Maiden’s tansy soothes rheumatoid arthritis, treats dermatitis, prevents plaque and possibly even fights cancer.
  • It is also used to treat fever, abdominal pain, toothache, insect bites, infertility, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, menstrual problems, and to make labor easier.
  • Tansy can be purchased as a dietary supplement in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid extract; the leaves are often eaten fresh.
  • Parthenolide in tansy tansy is believed to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

You can make an appointment with an oncologist on our website.

What are the main advantages of celecoxib over other NSAIDs

Posted in:

“The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.Clinical guidelines. ” – M .: IMA-PRESS, 2009

A.E. Karateev, N.N. Yakhno, L.B. Lazebnik, M.L. Kukushkin, V.N. Drozdov, V.A. Isakov, E.L. Nasonov.

The therapeutic potential of celecoxib has been well proven for both short-term and long-term use in all clinical situations where NSAIDs can be used, from headache relief and pain relief in trauma [78, 120, 121, 189] to complex therapy and prevention malignant neoplasms [870].

Celecoxib has proven itself as a pain relief agent in anesthetic practice, while its undoubted advantage over nNAIDs is a low risk of postoperative bleeding. It is for celecoxib that the greatest evidence of efficacy has been obtained when used in the preoperative analgesic regimen [155–157, 159, 160, 172, 177].

Celecoxib is widely used for long-term symptomatic therapy for all RD, primarily pain in the CNS [197, 206], RA [214], AC [233-235] and OA [247, 257, 259.260], and in the latter case, the expediency of its use is determined (in addition to its effectiveness and safety) by the presence of a favorable effect on the articular cartilage [871].

The most important advantage of celecoxib is the low risk of gastrointestinal complications, which makes it stand out among all other NSAIDs used in Russia. As shown by the results of a series of large-scale RCTs and the corresponding meta-analysis, compared with nNAIDs, the use of celecoxib reduces the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation by 2 times, endoscopic ulcers by 3-4 times, NSAID enteropathy by 3 times and by 30-40%. – the risk of developing dyspepsia.Epidemiological studies have shown that celecoxib is associated with the lowest risk of serious gastrointestinal complications compared with any other NSAID [215, 216, 356, 359, 472].

It should be noted that, according to the CLASS RCT, the use of celecoxib in combination with aspirin had no advantages in the incidence of gastrointestinal complications compared with the use of diclofenac and ibuprofen [352]. At the same time, epidemiological studies have shown the opposite: the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding is approximately 40% lower in patients who received celecoxib + aspirin compared with patients who used a combination of nNAIDs + aspirin [872].

Celecoxib alone has been validated in patients with serious risk factors such as peptic ulcer history, gastrointestinal bleeding, and low-dose aspirin in well-designed RCTs. In all cases, the level of its safety was shown that significantly exceeded the comparison drugs and the corresponding intake of nNAIDs in combination with PPIs [358, 404, 405].

The issue of cardiovascular safety of celecoxib is a matter of debate. Taking into account the data of cohort observational and epidemiological studies, we can talk about a relatively low risk of destabilization of hypertension (this is also confirmed by the data of a number of RCTs – SUCCESS-VI and SUCCESS-VII, CRESCENT) [520, 538-541] and the development of heart failure [625] compared with other NSAIDs.According to the results of an epidemiological study by J. Wang et al. [873] celecoxib does not increase the risk of hypertension in patients with normal blood pressure at baseline.

The most difficult problem is the assessment of the risk of cardiovascular accidents. Thus, the RCT data of ARS unambiguously showed an increase in the incidence of myocardial infarction in patients with adenomatous polyps who took celecoxib at a dose of 400 and 800 mg / day for a long time. At the same time, the preSAP RCT, which is similar in design, did not confirm this position.According to the cumulative assessment of data from 6 long-term RCTs, in which the efficacy of celecoxib in medium and high doses was compared with placebo (not for rheumatological indications, n = 7950), the RR of MI was 1.6 (1.1-2.3) [874 ].

At the same time, the results of RCTs CLASS and SUCCESS-1 do not demonstrate a significant increase in the incidence of MI in patients taking celecoxib [352,362]. The data from a series of epidemiological studies, as well as the corresponding meta-analyzes, are contradictory, but the results of most of these studies do not support the hypothesis of a significant risk of cardiovascular accidents when using celecoxib [753, 875].

The use of celecoxib very rarely causes serious complications from the liver (several cases of cholestasis have been described), more often – allergic skin reactions [864].

Celecoxib has been used in Russia for about 8 years, during which time the drug has established itself as an effective and safe agent [876-878]. Despite the heightened attention of the medical community to this problem, in our country not a single cardiovascular catastrophe was recorded, clearly associated with the intake of celecoxib.The only serious drawback of the drug should be recognized the high cost, which limits the possibility of its use in most patients.

Thus, celecoxib is an effective drug that can be used for all indications common to representatives of the NSAID group. Today it is the standard for therapy safety with an excellent combination of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety. Celecoxib is the only drug, the appointment of which can be justified in patients with a high risk of gastrointestinal complications (in the presence of a history of ulcers and the use of a combination with aspirin), without additional prescription of gastroprotective agents.The combination of celecoxib and PPIs minimizes the risk of gastrointestinal complications, even in patients at the highest risk (with a history of bleeding). Celecoxib seems to be a safer drug for the treatment of patients with hypertension and heart failure, and the combination with aspirin makes it possible to use this drug even in patients with a high risk of cardiovascular accidents.

(visible only to specialists verified by the MEDI RU edition)

Sunburn and heatstroke

09.09.2016

Sunburn is characterized by skin inflammation caused by excessive exposure to sunlight.

Common sunburn symptoms:

  • inflammation and redness of the skin at the site of the burn, pain when touching the affected area;
  • After sun exposure for several days, the skin may swell, swell, redden and blister;
  • sometimes the total body temperature rises to 39-40C.

The severity of symptoms depends on several factors:

  • type of skin;
  • medications taken;
  • location and duration of sun exposure;
  • degree of sun protection cream.

Sunburn and heatstroke are not immediate. Even when the skin is severely affected by the sun’s rays, no visible changes are observed in the next couple of hours. This is a delayed action mechanism. Symptoms become extremely apparent after 12-14 hours, only 4-7 days after a sunburn, the burnt layer of skin begins to peel off.

Important! The typical sunburn symptoms may not be present, but prolonged exposure to the sun will have an effect on the skin, thereby increasing the risk of freckles, wrinkles, or skin cancer.

What is the danger of sunburn?

A mild sunburn does not cause serious consequences, but the most severe sunburns cause the appearance of long-lasting skin defects – ulcers and erosions. If a mild degree of sunburn is often repeated, then this also poses a danger to a person and leads to the appearance of skin lesions – malignant neoplasms, photodermatosis, sunburns of varying severity.

First steps in providing assistance

In case of sunburn, the damaged areas of the body are cooled and moisturized, special agents are taken to relieve pain.

1. Cooling. As with any burn, the sunburn affected area should be cooled. For these purposes, lotions and compresses are used with ordinary running cold water. Chilled black hour, ice cubes, aloe juice, tomato and cucumber juices are used. A good effect is given by lotions from antiseptic agents – a weak solution of potassium permanganate, chlorhexidine, furacilin. As it warms up, the wiping cloth is moistened.

2. Moisturizing and subsequent treatment.The cooled skin must be hydrated without fail, otherwise it will dry out and become inflamed with renewed vigor.

Popular drugs

PanthenolSpray effectively removes the skin inflammation. The product contains dexpanthenol, and therefore has an anti-inflammatory and healing effect. Experts noted the obstacle to the development of inflammation when using the drug, the rapid elimination of burning, redness and other unpleasant signs of a burn. PanthenolSpray is an original drug that has been proven over the years and has gained wide popularity.There are many analogues with similar packaging in pharmacies.

If chills are observed and the general condition is disturbed, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used – “Ibuprofen”, “Paracetamol”. You can also use aspirin, a drug of the salicylate group.

To prevent skin dehydration, experts advise creams based on chamomile and calendula extracts, Aloe Vera, vitamin E. The components will help the skin absorb moisture and retain it for a long time.

Important! Treatment of sunburn does not allow the use of alcohol-containing lotions and other cosmetic products, since they additionally dry the skin and cause additional injuries. In addition, when washing burnt skin, do not use soap or overload it with too oily creams.

Important! When blisters appear, it is absolutely unacceptable to pierce them.

3. Pain relief. “Paracetamol”, “Aspirin”, “Acetaminophen” and “Ibuprofen” help to cope with painful sensations.Itching and burning sensation is reduced by antihistamines. Aspirin in combination with ibuprofen inhibits the formation of toxic substances that cause swelling and redness of the skin. A regular cool bath can help reduce fever and pain. Burning symptoms are caused by an active blood flow, which is caused by severe inflammation, and cold water constricts blood vessels and relieves the condition. But you can’t rush to get into the shower – these are the same microtraumas, extra pain.

Folk remedies

Grandma’s Recipes can also have an effect on sunburn.This is sour cream, milk, kefir, egg white. These products contain proteins that prevent moisture loss and restore skin.

Important! Traditional drugs will really be effective if used at least twice a day. But, whatever method is chosen to eliminate sunburn, after that it is imperative to moisturize the skin.

In terms of the choice of creams, preference should be given to those that contain hyaluronic acid, extracts of cactus, aloe, sea buckthorn, green tea, rosemary.Medicated sunburn sprays and after-sun products work well for these functions.

If a sunburn happened in a child

If a child is found to have received a sunburn, prepare a cold bath for him. Bathing in a bath with oatmeal gives a good effect. To do this, you need to take ordinary oatmeal, pour it into a cloth bag, tie it with a thread and put it in a bath or hang it under a shower stream. The child should stay in such a bath for 5-15 minutes, after which it should be gently patted with a towel so that a small layer of oatmeal powder remains on the skin.This will help relieve itching and soften the skin.

It is necessary for the child to receive a sufficient amount of fluid. On the day of the burn formation and the next three days, the child should drink a lot of water. For the damaged skin of a child, the general remedies described above are suitable.

Another important point is the baby’s nutrition. Vitamin C is capable of strengthening the immune system, as well as providing a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It is better to give preference to varieties with bioflavonoids. The dosage for a child depends on his age, multiplied by 50 milligrams.The remedy is given twice a day, but if diarrhea begins, the dose should be reduced.

It is desirable to use liquid or powder (non-acidic) vitamin C. These solutions are suitable for children and babies, can be used by adding to juice. Zinc will help strengthen the immune system and accelerate skin regeneration. The dose for children under 2 years old is 5 milligrams, over two years old – 10-15 milligrams. The drug is given for two weeks, after which the course ends.

The carotenoid complex is given prophylactically.Often, carotenoids help absorb sunlight and protect the skin from damage. Supplied with a multivitamin complex.

Important! When the child’s skin becomes covered with blisters, and it is not possible to bring down the temperature, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor.

In the treatment of sunburn, the correct diet is important. It is advisable to include fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, since they contain a large amount of vitamins E and C, and without them, the healing and regeneration of the skin slows down.If for some reason it is not possible to organize the use of fresh fruits and vegetables, you should take care of taking synthesized vitamins. They are present on the counters of almost all pharmacies. There you can also choose a pharmacological drug based on the active ingredient ibuprofen. Timely intake of ibuprofen will relieve the skin inflammatory reaction, normalize the temperature of the human body, and significantly reduce the intensity of pain.

Preventive measures

To prevent sunburn, just follow some simple rules.

Choose the sunbathing periods 7.00-11.00 and then after 17.00. The time 11.00–17.00 is considered the most dangerous, the sun is very active and most of all can harm the body, a couple of hours at this time are enough to get a burn. Such time frames are suitable for the population of the post-Soviet territory, and in other climatic zones you can navigate by your own shadow. If it is smaller than a person’s height, it is better to spend more time in the shade, and not in the sun. Prolonged stay in an open area at an unfavorable time of the solstice, in addition to sunburn, threatens sunstroke, which can also seriously harm health.For access to open space during the peak solstice, it is best to use closed clothing, sunglasses and a hat.

Important! It is better to give preference not to plastic, but to glass glasses, since plastic is more harmful to the eyes than helps.

If the temporary reception of “sunbathing” is observed, it is better to hide from the sun for a while in the water or in the shade. It is impossible to fall asleep on the beach, because after waking up, sleep will turn into a nightmare.

Do not forget about sunscreens, as they trap part of the ultraviolet radiation.

Owners of pale skin are advised to use special oils and creams, the protection index of which corresponds to 20. For dark skin, products with an index of 15 or less are suitable. For those who have light skin and red hair, the protective index 30.

Important! Sunscreens are applied exclusively to clean, dry skin, mainly one hour before the expected sun exposure. The cream is reapplied after each bath.

Important! Even in cloudy weather, there is a chance of getting sunburn, since ultraviolet light also passes through the clouds.

It is strictly forbidden to be in the sun for a long time:

  • children under 1 year old;
  • 90,215 pregnant women;

  • elderly people;
  • patients with neurasthenia, systemic lupus erythematosus, tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases;
  • 90,215 people taking certain types of antibiotics, antihypertensive drugs and diuretics, which increases susceptibility to ultraviolet light and causes photodermatosis.

Such people need to beware of the sun’s rays:

  • with dermatitis, since dry areas of the skin will dry out even more;
  • with vitiligo, since the area of ​​the skin that does not have pigmentation will get sunburn very quickly;
  • with chlaosma, because excessive pigmentation of individual skin spots quickly darkens, becoming even more noticeable.

Important! The susceptibility of the skin to ultraviolet light increases with the use of some medical products of the line of antibiotics, diuretics, antihypertensive drugs.

A good tan is beautiful and painless.

Sunstroke – defeat due to prolonged exposure to sunlight on an uncovered head. On a clear day, it is possible to get a sunstroke if you are outdoors for a long time without a headdress.

Heat stroke – excessive overheating of the human body as a whole. Such blows occur in calm, cloudy, but hot weather with prolonged heavy physical exertion, difficult long transitions.Heatstroke is more likely with insufficient physical fitness of a person, severe fatigue and thirst.

Symptoms of solar and heatstroke:

  • headaches;
  • increased heart rate;
  • impaired coordination;
  • redness, and then blanching of the skin;
  • dizziness;
  • decrease in the intensity of respiration and pulse;
  • lethargy and weakness;
  • tinnitus;
  • epistaxis;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • convulsions, fainting.