According to a national survey conducted by the US Pain Foundation, many people may not be taking their current health condition or age into consideration when choosing over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications.

Rather, they are basing their decision mostly on how effectively and quickly the OTC medication will relieve their pain, per a media release from US Pain Foundation.

Among the findings from the survey of nearly 1,300 US adults, conducted by the US Pain Foundation, with support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, are that nearly half (45%) do not consider the prescription medicines they are currently taking; more than half (58%) do not consider their pre-existing health conditions; and two in three (65%) do not consider other OTC medicines they are taking.

In addition, per the release, three out of four (73%) of those 60 and over do not consider their age; and one in five (20%) do not consider any of these important safety factors.

“When choosing an OTC pain reliever, consumers should always balance finding effective relief with important safety considerations like their age, current health conditions, and other medicines they are taking,” says Paul Gileno, founder of the US Pain Foundation, in the release. “People with pre-existing conditions, or those that are currently taking prescription medicines, need to be especially careful when choosing an OTC medicine for pain relief.”

Dr David Biondi, Senior Director of Medical Affairs & Clinical Research at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, concurs, explaining in the release that, “Not every OTC pain reliever is appropriate for everyone. When you’re in pain, it becomes easy to reach for the first OTC pain reliever on the shelf, but it’s always important to consider your current health profile. A pain reliever that was right for you in the past may not be the right choice for you now.”

McNeil Consumer Healthcare offers an expanded website with information about how to safely choose, use, and store OTC pain relievers.

[Source(s): US Pain Foundation, PR Newswire]