Choosing Common Pain Relievers: It’s Complicated

About 29 million Americans use over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain. Every year in the U.S., NSAID use is attributed to approximately 100,000 hospitalizations and 17,000 deaths. All of these drugs have benefits and risks, but deciding which one to use is complicated for health care providers and their patients. To assist in clinical decision-making, researchers address cardiovascular risks and beyond, which include gastrointestinal and kidney side effects of pain relievers.

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