Q: My 88-year old mother often complains of various aches and pains. What is the safest over-the-counter painkiller for her to take? Aren’t some of them bad for your liver and kidneys?
A: Frequent aches and pains are a common problem for older adults.
If your mother has been complaining, you’ll want to make sure she gets a careful evaluation from her doctor. After all, frequent pain can be a sign of an important underlying health problem that needs attention. You’re also more likely to help your mom reduce her pain if you can help her doctors identify the underlying causes of her pain.
That said, it’s a good idea to ask what over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are safest for older people.
That’s because improper use of OTC painkiller tablets is actually a major cause of harm to older adults.
So let me tell you what OTC pain relievers geriatricians usually consider the safest, and which very common group of painkillers can cause serious side-effects in aging adults.