January 7, 2014 — Recent research presented at the American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting in Boston concluded the combination of acetaminophen pain relievers and light to moderate levels of alcohol consumption produces a 123-percent increased risk of kidney disease among individuals.
In response to the research, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) urges the public to utilize low-risk, natural alternative options, such as chiropractic care, as a primary approach to pain relief.
“The recent findings support a multitude of reports that continue to surface examining the dangers associated with over-the-counter and prescription pain medications,” says Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson, F4CP. “The public needs to be exceptionally cautious utilizing very common acetaminophen or acetaminophen-containing products for pain relief especially when alcohol may be consumed, and should begin to consider less invasive, non-pharmacological, evidence-based options as a first step in their course of addressing pain.”
After surveying 10,000 people, researchers discovered that nearly half the participants who combined regular alcohol use (up to 12 drinks a week for men) and frequent use of painkillers containing acetaminophen reported kidney problems. In addition to kidney-related concerns, common pain medications have been linked to cases of addiction, accidental overdose, and in severe cases, death.
Unfortunately, these methods of care have become routine for the 116 million individuals nationwide that suffer from chronic pain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Lead researcher and associate professor for research and biostatistics at Parker University, Harrison Ndetan PhD, says, “Most people take acetaminophen without any input from pharmacists or physicians, and that’s where the public-health concern is. People who buy this form of medication over-the-counter may also be casual alcohol users, and they don’t know that there is a harmful interaction.”
Clum adds, “Mounting scientific evidence continues to expose the dangers associated with acetaminophen-containing products commonly used for pain relief. It is clear that the public needs to understand that simply because a medication is available over-the-counter or by prescription does not mean it is without serious risks. Consumers would be wise to opt for safer, non-drug options, such as chiropractic care, that provide very positive clinical results without the risks of routinely used pharmaceuticals.”