Skip to main content

When you’re in pain, you want to feel better quickly so you can get on with the demands of your day. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may help, but it is important to use it safely.

Get your pain reliever dose right. Why?

If you take more medicine than the label says, you may increase your chance of serious side effects. To use OTC pain relievers safely:

  • Take the dose directed on the label

  • Wait the right amount of time between doses

  • Don’t take more than the daily limit

  • If your pain lasts for more than 10 days, stop taking the medicine and see your healthcare professional. It’s possible that the problem may need more attention, or a different treatment approach may be needed

Home remedies, ice and heat, and stretching exercises may also reduce your pain. Here are tips for safely managing 3 common types of pain: back pain, toothaches, and cold and flu symptoms.