Stay Smart When Using OTC Pain Medicines


(NewsUSA) - In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, a majority of Americans report pain, but most are smart about safety when it comes to pain relief, including products with acetaminophen, a common active ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.     

Approximately two-thirds of American adults report ongoing pain in 2022, up 12 percent since 2019, according to results of a new survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation.     

Nearly 80 percent of the survey respondents report that their usage of OTC pain relievers has either stayed the same or increased over the past two years. Additionally, nearly 90 percent say they “always check the label of acetaminophen products to find the maximum daily dose,” an increase from 85 percent in 2019.     

The CHPA Educational Foundation has conducted a survey about consumers’ knowledge of acetaminophen safe use and the risks of misuse every three years since 2010. The survey results are being released in June to coincide with National Safety Month for an added opportunity to encourage and practice medicine safety with products containing acetaminophen.   

“With self-reported pain on the rise, consumers are turning to safe pain relief options now more than ever,” says Mary Leonard, managing director of the CHPA Educational Foundation. “It is encouraging to see consumers understanding how to safely choose and use products containing acetaminophen, and we know that educational initiatives have played a critical role in this increasing awareness,” she adds.     

“These efforts are bolstered by our long-standing participation in the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC),” according to Leonard, which is a group of leading health, healthcare provider and consumer organizations, including the CHPA Educational Foundation. The AAC established the “Know Your Dose” campaign in 2011 to educate consumers on how to safely use medicines containing acetaminophen. “We are thrilled to see education appears to be working,” she adds.     

Other encouraging findings from the survey show that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of adults in 2022 agree with the statement “two different acetaminophen medicines should never be taken together,” an increase from 56 percent in 2019. Also, 91 percent of respondents strongly agree they “Carefully consider how many acetaminophen pills or doses to take,” an increase from 89 percent in 2019.     

The results reflect the efforts of the AAC and the Know Your Dose campaign, which have reached millions of consumers and healthcare providers since 2011 with safe-use messages and free educational resources in both English and Spanish.   

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