The original question asked:
Is taking one ibuprofen each day bad for you?
The side effects of ibuprofen include nausea, stomach ulcers/bleeding, raised liver enzymes, diarrhea, constipation, nose bleeds, headache, dizziness, rash, salt and fluid retention, and hypertension (high blood pressure), as well as weight gain.
Taking 1 pill at a time? Just means it will take longer to build up in the system and cause side effects. But the longer you stay on them the more weight you will gain, the higher your blood pressure will be and the closer to liver failure you will get. In the mean time you can expect random headaches and nosebleeds that can’t be attributed to other sources.
The question has been edited and merged to ask about many different pain killers several times. So I’m going to answer it another way.
Let me make this distinction first:
Alleve is a brand name. Ibuprofen is a specific type of drug. Alleve does not contain ibuprofen.
Alleve (brand name) is naproxen sodium (drug).
Advil (brand name) is ibuprofen (drug).
Tylenol (brand name) is acetaminophen (drug)
There are many other brand names and drug names, some brands contain a mix of drugs.
With that distinction out of the way I’m going to answer this question instead:
Is taking one pain killer a day bad for you?
Technically yes, though it depends entirely on how healthy you were to begin with and how long you intend on staying on the painkiller.
Let’s be clear:
- All painkillers have side effects.
- Painkillers do not heal you or solve problems by themselves
- Painkillers are intended to be temporary breaks from pain while you achieve a solution to the underlying problem some other way
Pain killers can be helpful short term solutions to pain issues. But since they are not themselves actually capable of healing anything, they are not a long term solution to fixing a problem. They are a mask for pain and nothing more.
Different pain killers effect the body in different ways. They each have their own varied effects on the kidneys and liver. They are technically toxic to the body. Your body will spend nutritional resources trying to rid itself of the pain killers which are slowly causing damage to something in you.
These drugs build up in your system, the side effects will eventually start to happen once your body has exceeded it’s ability to rid itself of the build up.
How many years will it take to happen? Impossible to predict. It could be 10 or 15 years before you finally realize that pain killer abuse weakened your liver or put you on the road to kidney failure, or permanently raised your blood pressure which in turn leads to other issues.
The point of my explaining this is not to scare you or tell you to never use pain killers. A healthy adult can take pain killers for several days at a time, then stop and the body will flush the toxins from your system with virtually undetectable effects.
The point however is to realize that long term usage is abuse and the victim is yourself.
There are definite times in life where pain killers are the only way to get through a bad situation. The goal however should be to minimize how long those periods of use last.
I would suggest two things for long term health:
- Rotate your pain killers. Do not simply stay on the same one forever, all the time. Using different ones at different times let’s the body recover a little bit from each.
- Consult with a doctor to solve and potentially heal the underlying problem you are coping with. Whatever the damage to your body a doctor can help you find solutions that will attempt to heal you to the point where you can eventually get off the painkillers.
I have in my life experienced great pain, from a variety of broken bones, torn muscles, numerous accidents, crippling migraines, and a list long enough to fill it’s own book of health issues. (I don’t say this to brag, I’m sure others have similar or worse experiences).
My point is only that it takes a wider approach to healing to come to terms with your own body and what it can do. Learning to heal and solve the problems that cause the pain is the better long term solution.
For your own sake, treat pain killers as a short term last resort, not a long term solution.