Monthly Archives: June 2016

The dangerous of counter painkillers

unduhan-67More than 9 out of every 10 Americans use over-the-counter meds to manage pain, a new survey from the U.S. Pain Foundation found.

If you take them correctly, OTC painkillers are generally safe and effective, says Charles Vega, M.D., a clinical professor of health sciences at the University of California at Irvine.

But too many people don’t take the pills seriously—and skip the fine print on the bottle as a result, says Charles Vega, M.D., a clinical professor of health sciences at the University of California at Irvine.

“These are real medicines with real consequences,” Dr. Vega says.

Here are 5 common mistakes you might be making with your painkillers—and what might happen as a result.

PAINKILLER MISTAKE #1: YOU TAKE TOO MANY PILLS

A lot of people assume that by doubling the dosage, they’ll double the pill’s effectiveness.

But you’re probably just increasing your chances of side effects or even poisoning without getting any additional pain relief, Dr. Vega says.

Related: Gambling Addictions, Purple Sweat, Driving While Asleep—the Scary Side Effects Of Popular Meds

Lots of people learn this lesson the hard way. For example, taking too much acetaminophen—the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other OTC meds—is one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide, the National Institutes of Health says.

“These OTC painkillers are shown to be effective at the dosage listed on the label,” Dr. Vega says.

For acetaminophen, that’s 4,000 milligrams (mg)—or 8 tablets of Tylenol Extra Strength—per day, max.

Pop two or three times the dosage of any painkiller, and you run the risk of nausea or an upset stomach, heartburn, rashes, or even liver or kidney damage, he says.

PAINKILLER MISTAKE #2: YOU TAKE PAIN MEDS TOO OFTEN

Unless you’re following a doctor’s instructions, you shouldn’t be taking OTC pain pills more than one or two days per month, Dr. Vega says.

For example, taking acetaminophen on a daily or weekly basis could raise your risk of liver failure or even death, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

And while A Daily Low-Dose Aspirin Can Help Your Heart if you’re already at risk of heart disease, it can also eat away at the lining of your stomach and gut.

In fact, daily aspirin may raise your risk of serious internal bleeding by 55 percent, a study in JAMA found.

Related: What You Should Do If You Pee Blood

So if you need painkillers on a daily or weekly basis—whether for joint pain, headaches, or something other chronic issue—see your doctor to identify your underlying problem and the best solution to actually treat it, Dr. Vega says.

PAINKILLER MISTAKE #3: YOU ASSUME ALL OTC PAIN MEDS ARE THE SAME

The active ingredient in Tylenol is different from the active ingredient in Advil (or Aleve, or Bayer). You should take each painkiller’s specific method of action into account when choosing a pain reliever—rather than just popping whatever you have in your medicine cabinet, Dr. Vega says.

For example, ibuprofen—the active ingredient in Motrin IB or Advil—works by lowering your levels of certain inflammation-causing hormones.

That makes it a great option for arthritis pain or swelling, but it might not be as effective at knocking out a headache. In that case, acetaminophen might be your best bet, since it works by interfering with your brain’s pain receptors.

Geese after low risk bird flu found on firm

German authorities are preparing to cull 8,800 geese on a farm in the north of the country where a low risk strain of bird flu has been found, authorities said on Monday.

Some 1,800 geese on a farm in Dithmarschen have a low risk H5 bird flu, said the environment ministry in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Another 7,000 geese at a different location owned by the same farm are also suspected to have bird flu but it is not known whether this is the low risk type or the highly contagious H5N8 strain, the state ministry said.

A series of European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some have ordered that poultry flocks be kept indoors to avoid the disease spreading.

Most outbreaks involve wild birds but Germany, Hungary and Austria have also reported cases in domestic duck and turkey farms where all poultry have had to be culled. A case was also reported on a farm in Denmark on Monday.

The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in wild birds in much of Germany over past days and the country’s government has tightened sanitary rules for farms and warned it may order poultry to be kept inside.

More outbreaks of a severe strain of bird flu in Europe are likely to occur in the next few weeks as wild birds believed to transmit the virus migrate southward, the deputy head of the world animal health body said.

Scouts Guides have better mental health

The mental health benefits of participation in childhood scouting activities might last for decades, a new study suggests.

In the middle-aged study participants, mood and happiness tended to range in association with childhood social position – but not for grown-ups who had been in the Scouts-Guides program when they were young, researchers found.

“Scout or Guide membership appears to almost completely remove the inequality in mental health (aged 50) associated with early life economic disadvantage,” said lead author Chris Dibben of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“Given the difficulty governments around the world have in tackling health inequalities, we think any evidence of substantial impact is significant,” Dibben told Reuters Health by email.

The Scout Association provides active, outdoor, social activities for young people, male and female, age six to 25 in the U.K.

Girlguiding is a similar program, and the largest girls only youth program in the U.K.

For the new study, the researchers focused on more than 9,000 people born in 1958, 28 percent of whom had been in the Scouts or Guides program. Mental Health Index tests at age 50 assessed nerves, calmness, downheartedness and happiness over the previous four weeks, with answers scored on a scale of one to 100.

On average, participants scored about 75. Adults who had been in Scouts-Guides scored about 2.2 points higher than other adults. For those who had not taken part in the programs, mental health scores ranged along the lines of childhood social position, but there was no similar range for adults who had been in Scouts-Guides, as reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“Detecting an apparent effect 40 or so years after an activity is always going to be notable, however in many ways existing research on social mobility, resilience and activities that may be protective of mental health, provide many explanations of why the kind of programs used by the scouts and guides and other similar youth organizations might be protective of mental health,” Dibben told Reuters Health by email.