Hidden dangers in common medication


Sold on shelves in convenient stores such as CVS, pain relievers have harmful and permanent effects on the body. Maddie Caponiti ’15

It is not uncommon to see Convent of the Sacred Heart students asking to be excused from class or heading down during a free to Mrs. Mary Walsh’s office. It is also not uncommon for these girls to request over-the-counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol from the school nurse.
However, the popular belief that these drugs are innocuous due to their easy access could be doing more harm than good. According to Livestrong.com, Ibuprofen and other pain medications, such as Tylenol or Advil, can cause permanent damage to kidneys, intestines and stomach lining.

Sold on shelves in convenient stores such as CVS, pain relievers have harmful and permanent effects on the body.
Maddie Caponiti ’15

“Advil can cause irritation and damage to the stomach lining if taken too often. It should not be overused,” Sacred Heart School Nurse, Mrs. Mary Walsh said.
Over-the-counter medications have a reputation for being quick and easy fixes for aches and pains. Ibuprofen is a go-to drug for those who are experiencing pain.
“People sometimes overuse medicine to just treat symptoms,” Mrs. Walsh said. “Instead of finding what the cause of their discomfort”
According to the New York Times, up to 70 percent of active people report that they use pain medication before and after a workout or competition as a precaution against soreness. These numbers do not show those who take pain medication for a simple headache.
“I take Ibuprofen daily because I constantly get very bad headaches,” sophomore Emma Sapio said.
A new study compiled by Dr. Kim van Wijick shows that Ibuprofen and similar painkillers taken before or after a workout, or taken too often, may be causing permanent damage to the body, specifically the liver and the intestines.
In a December 5 New York Times article titled “For Athletes, Risks From Ibuprofen,” Dr. Kim van Wijick, a surgical resident at Orbis Medical Center in the Netherlands,performed an experiment and calculated data through her work with other scientists. She explained how even though the most common side-effect of Ibuprofen is gastrointestinal damage, damage to the stomach and small and large intestines is also possible.
Dr. van Wijick shows through her experiment how after exercise, muscles are tired, and that taking the average amount of Ibuprofen after a workout could directly “affect the ability of tired muscles to resupply themselves with fuel.”
“I had no idea about the negative effects of Ibuprofen and other pain killers,” freshman Maddy DeVita said. “Instead of taking medicine, now I am going to stretch after practice to sooth my muscles.”
– Maddie Caponiti, Staff Writer