Aspirin and its [NSAID] relatives are thought to cause as many as 16,500 deaths a year from stomach and intestinal problems.
Clearer Liver Warning Urged for Painkillers (2002)
Claim: Combining Coca-Cola and aspirin will get you high.
What might well be the origin of the "gets you high" belief appeared in the early 1930s. A doctor from Illinois wrote to the Journal of the American Medical Association to warn that teenagers were dissolving aspirin in Coca-Cola to create an "intoxicating" beverage with addictive properties that were as bad as "narcotic habituation." His rant was baseless, and the rumor eventually died down and stayed down for a very long time.
... taking more than the maximum dose of over-the-counter pain relievers can trigger serious side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) and aspirin can cause heartburn, gastrointestinal bleeding, and peptic ulcers and affect the blood's ability to clot. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is gentler on the stomach, but high amounts of it can damage your liver. "And the more of these pain medications you take, the less your brain produces pain-relieving chemicals on its own.
Excerpt: "Most forms of chronic pain respond to non-opioid drug treatments," she says. Examples of non-opioid pain relievers, which don't have addiction potential, include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A combination of different types of analgesic medications at lower doses is often more effective than a single high-dose medication.
"But if opioids are prescribed for your pain, you are not abusing drugs if you are taking the medication as prescribed," Savage says. "Taking doses of drugs to relieve pain is not the same as taking drugs to get high."
Opioids are controlled substances that are potentially addictive.
Pain medications containing opioids include Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin and Percocet (oxycodone), MS-Contin (morphine), Tylenol #2, #3 and #4 (codeine), and the Duragesic Patch and Actiq (fentanyl).