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CNBCInterestingly enough I saw a segment on CNBC about headaches and some dangers of over the counter medications.  CNBC put headache sufferers, in this country, at a conservative estimate of 2 million.  They went on to discuss rebound and addictive effects of these over the counter drugs.  Of particular importance, according to them, are drugs which have vasoconstrictive qualities, such as Excedrin which contains caffeine.   These drugs cause the blood vessels of the head to constrict, and after they wear off the blood vessels refelxively vasodilate, or expand.  This expansion causes pressure on surrounding nerves causing pain.

Of course CNBC did go on to state that the use of these drugs, if the directions were followed, were totally safe, hmm... Not so says numerous studies.

NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs including, but not limited to, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, etc.) continue to be one of the most common drug groups associated with serious adverse effects.

NSAID toxicities cited in this study included:

Gastrointestinal:  Dyspepsia, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric erosions, hemorrhage.

Renal:  Hepatitis/liver function test abnormalities, edema, interstitial nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, Hypertension exacerbation.

Central Nervous:  Headache, cognitive dysfunction, aseptic meningitis.

Hematologic:  Bleeding diathesis.

Respiratory:  Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm.

                                                                                                                SPINE Volume 19, Number 13, pp1530-1534


Scary stuff, probably not what we think about when we pick up that bottle of pain killers at our local friendly supermarket.  But it gets worse as evidenced by this New England Journal of Medicine study...

People who take analgesic drugs frequently may be at increased risk of end-stage renal disease, but the extent of this risk remains unclear.

                                                                                                                   NEJM Vol. 331 No. 25, pp1675-1679

Your kidney, along with your Liver (which is also at danger with these drugs, especially Tylenol) purify the body.  These organs are all-important in regulating our bodies.  Headaches are something which Chiropractic is especially successful with, and without the side effects.


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