The best painkiller to use depends on your health problems. It also depends on any other drugs you take. Be sure to tell your doctor about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal medicines you take.
Over-the-counter Tylenol (generic acetaminophen) is often the best choice for people with high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney problems.
However, high doses of Tylenol can damage the liver, so take the lowest dose you can to get enough pain relief.
Never take more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) a day. That’s equal to twelve 325 mg pills.
If Tylenol or generic acetaminophen do not work, ask your doctor about using a stronger prescription painkiller, such as Ultram (generic tramadol) for a short time.
If you have kidney problems, do not take more than 200 mg a day. And take it once every 12 hours to limit the risk of side effects.
Do not use tramadol if you have epilepsy or if you take Paxil (generic paroxetine), Prozac (generic fluoxetine), or Zoloft (generic sertraline). Taking tramadol with these drugs can increase your risk of seizures.
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