Start the conversation. Always ask your health care provider or pharmacist about potential side effects of medications you are taking, including NSAIDs. Whenever you take a medication or are prescribed one, you should discuss it with your health care provider in order to make the best decisions about your health.
Mixing medications is risky. Many people don't know what the term NSAID means or which products—prescription or over-the-counter—contain NSAIDs. It is important to read labels and know what you are taking. Being aware of what is in a product can prevent you from accidentally taking multiple or excessive doses of prescription and/or over-the-counter NSAIDs, which increases the risk of side effects.
Always stay hydrated. Taking NSAIDs when dehydrated can increase the potential for serious health consequences, including acute kidney injury. If you're dehydrated during or after an intense run, especially when it's warm outside, be aware that hydration levels affect how your body will process NSAIDs.
Remember that more is not always better. Read the labels. Do not take a higher dose or take NSAIDs for longer than is recommended. In addition, some runners take NSAIDs prior to and during races in an effort to proactively treat anticipated symptoms. While these runners might say they "feel" a benefit, there is little evidence to suggest that athletes get any benefit from taking pain relievers before a race. And, it is even more problematic as they get dehydrated from running.
Take the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time. Research has shown that the risk of side effects rise with an increase in the amount of NSAIDs taken and length of time for which they are used. To guide appropriate use, the FDA and the medical community strongly recommend that all NSAIDs should be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time required for relief.All good, simple recommendations. I rarely take NSAIDs, and pretty much never when it involves aches and pains from working out, but I know a lot of people aren't aware of how dangerous they can be if over-used or used improperly.
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