Over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics, such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and acetaminophen, are some of the most commonly used medications.
They are widely available without a prescription and are perceived to be safe.
But frequent use—including inadvertently exceeding a recommended dose when taking cold and sinus medications that contain these analgesics—can potentially cause harm.
In a new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, researchers found frequent use of typical doses of common analgesics, including low-dose and moderate-dose aspirin, NSAIDs and acetaminophen, is linked to the risk of developing chronic persistent tinnitus.
Low-dose aspirin use did not elevate risk, but frequent moderate-dose aspirin use was associated with a higher risk of persistent tinnitus among women under 60.
These findings suggest that analgesic users may be at higher risk for developing tinnitus and may provide insight into patients of this challenging disorder.
The team conducted their research among 69,455 women who were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII).
Women were between the ages of 31 and 48 at the time of enrollment and were followed for over 20 years.
The team says even though these analgesics are widely available without a prescription, these are still medications, and there are potential side effects.
For anyone who is considering taking these types of medications regularly, it is advisable to consult with a health care professional to discuss the risks and benefits and to explore whether there are alternatives to using medication.
Millions of Americans experience tinnitus, often to a disabling degree. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present.
Commonly described as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can also be experienced as many different perceptions of sound, such as buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking.
Tinnitus can be transient or temporary, or it can be a persistent, long-term condition.
If you care about wellness, please read studies that too many older Americans are taking daily aspirin despite the warning, and diet that could improve health in people with diabetes.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that this drug may help prevent serious illness in COVID-19, and results showing that your immune system mounts a lasting defense after recovery from COVID-19.
The study is published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and was conducted by Sharon Curhan et al.
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