Swallowing an Extra Pill if a Headache Won't Go Away
Risk Rating: 3
If you pop just one extra for that five-alarm headache, chances are you'll be fine, since there is a safety range built into the recommended dosages. For example, the maximum daily dose for over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil is one brand) is only half that of prescription-strength ibuprofen. But routinely taking more than the amount listed on the bottle can cause your body to adapt to the painkiller, leading to more intense headaches, as well as the potential for other health problems, says Rick Kellerman, M.D. In addition, too much acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol) has been linked to liver damage.
If you have a headache or some other issue that won't respond to routine remedies, you should have it checked out by your physician to make sure there is no underlying problem.