U.S. Pain Foundation Releases Survey Results on Over-the-Counter Therapy Options

U.S. Pain Foundation Releases Survey Results on Over-the-Counter Therapy Options

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Pain Foundation released survey results on over-the-counter pain relievers via a press release today. Below is a copy of that press release. 


A new survey by the U.S. Pain Foundation finds that many people disregard critical factors such as current medications, pre-existing health conditions, and age when choosing OTC pain relievers.

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (August 29, 2016) - A new national survey conducted by the U.S. Pain Foundation with support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare has found that while nearly all consumers (97%) say they feel confident when choosing which over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to take, many disregard important safety factors that medical professionals say are critical to selecting which OTC pain reliever is most appropriate for their health profile.


The survey of nearly 1,300 U.S. adults found that when deciding which OTC pain reliever to take, consumers place the most value on how effectively and quickly the medicine will relieve their pain, rather than prioritizing factors that could seriously impact their health, such as age and pre-existing medical conditions.


Top survey findings include:
  • 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;
  • Two in three (65%) do not consider other OTC medicines they are taking;
  • 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 U.S. Pain Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions. “People with pre-existing conditions, or those that are currently taking prescription medicines need to be especially careful when choosing an OTC medication for pain relief.”


For many consumers, certain OTC pain relievers may not be appropriate. For example, if you have existing stomach or heart conditions, or you are over the age of 60, some NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or stomach bleeding.


Dr. David Biondi, Senior Director of Medical Affairs & Clinical Research at McNeil Consumer Healthcare explains, “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.”


How consumers can get pain relief safely and responsibly
To help consumers make more informed decisions when choosing OTCs for their pain, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has expanded www.GetReliefResponsibly.com, which now offers more resources for consumers and healthcare professionals on how to safely choose, use, and store OTC pain relievers.


Five tips for choosing and using OTC pain relievers:
  1. Choose the OTC pain reliever that’s right for you based on your health profile.
  2. Always read and follow the Drug Facts label-whether it’s the first time or the 100th time. Drug Facts labels change and so does our health.
  3. Stick to the recommended dose and keep track of other medicines you are taking and how they might interact.
  4. Know the active ingredient in your medicine and be sure to take only one medicine that contains the same type of active ingredient at a time.
  5. Avoid taking OTC pain relievers longer than directed on the label, unless told to do so by your healthcare provider.

OTC Pain Reliever Survey Methodology
From June 24-July 5, 2016, APCO Insight conducted an online and telephone survey on behalf of the U.S. Pain Foundation and McNeil Consumer Healthcare that included 1,292 U.S. adults who have used an OTC pain reliever in the last 90 days. The survey analyzed behaviors and perceptions related to the choice and use of OTC pain relievers. It included an oversampling of respondents with high blood pressure (n=125) and respondents who have cardiovascular disease (n=125). Data have been weighted according to the U.S. census to reflect national representation on key demographic measures.

About U.S. Pain Foundation
U.S. Pain Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions, their families and care providers. Founded in 2010, the U.S. Pain Foundation was created by people with pain for people with pain. Their mission is to educate, connect, inform and empower those living with pain while also advocating on behalf of the entire pain community. Nationally recognized as a leading patient-focused organization, U.S. Pain Foundation helps individuals find resources and inspiration. For more information, visit www.USPainFoundation.org.


About Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter products. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is most widely recognized for the TYLENOL® brand. Other McNeil Consumer Healthcare brands include BENADRYL®, ZYRTEC® and ZYRTEC® -D allergy medicines; IMODIUM® A-D anti-diarrheal; MOTRIN® IB pain reliever; and SUDAFED® and SUDAFED PE® nasal decongestants.


Want to learn more about the findings of the OTC Therapy Options Survey? CLICK HERE


For more information, contact:
Janine Kamwene, APCO Worldwide - jkamwene@apcoworldwide.com, (212-300-1810)


The US Pain Foundation is a partner with the National Pain Report. To learn more about the US Pain Foundation, visit their website.

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Authored by: Staff

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Krissy Slawinski

Only when taking over 4000 mg a day is tylenol damaging. My ex, who also happened to be a drug addict, used to take Advil like candy. Fortunately, he never got sick or died from it.


Tylenol is probably the most deadly pain reliver of all and it’s available OTC to anyone that wants it, even children! I would even bet that a lot of so called opoiod deaths are actually due to liver failure from the tylenol in combination opiate/tylenol drugs. NSAIDS aren’t benign either, they can cause stomach bleeding, and many have severe life threatening allergies to them.


Duh! Are there really that many irresponsible for their own health folks out there?!
I would imagine that most would read labels before putting any medication into their mouth… Rx or OTC. But… Maybe I’m very wrong about that?!


I find it amazing that doctors tell people the Tylenol damages their kidneys. ( I have read it recently on this blog) The NSAIDS are known to do that! I worry that laymen, sometimes, have more accurate information that what their doctors are telling them! The two commenters know that the Tylenol is the deadliest part of the opiate/Tylenol combination drugs!


It is all well and good to talk about proper dosing and other safety concerns with OTC’s. However, when your pain has been fluctuating between 7 and 8 for days and your doctor is afraid to even prescribe you tramadol, you tend to forget about safety factors and take what you need so you can get out of bed and do silly thing like take care of your family and go to work. I’ll worry about side effects later. Right now, I’ve got bills to pay.


This is not surprising to me. Pain leads to an urgent desire to end the discomfort or suffering it causes. It’s also no surprise people deem the products relatively safe that are on the drug store shelves. A bigger warning of liver failure is a good idea on Tylenol given the huge increase in acetaminophen related liver failure