Skip the Pharmacy Lines This Winter by Shopping Amazon's Under-the-Radar Line of OTC Medications
The Amazon Basic Care lineup includes both types of OTC pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)-like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium-and acetaminophen. Amazon offers 22 different OTC pain-relieving products to choose from, and all of them are affordably priced way below brand name alternatives.
While it might feel strange to buy generic meds online (especially from a marketplace generally known for its deals on anti-aging skincare and comfy shoes), it's totally safe. "The Basic Care line is made by a licensed manufacturer of generic drugs, [so] the quality and safety should be comparable to the store brands," Edward Fisher, MD PhD, a preventive cardiologist at NYU Langone, tells Health. Of course, it's still important to check with your doctor before starting a new medication.
The Basic Care line has a few seriously popular products, including the Basic Care Naproxen Sodium Tablets for Back and Muscle Pain ($4; amazon.com). Already a favorite of more than 9,000 shoppers, the product contains naproxen sodium, the same primary active ingredient as Aleve. The NSAID blocks enzymes in the body to reduce inflammation and fever.
Like all medications, NSAIDs do have some potential side effects. Most commonly, they're known for causing stomach issues, like nausea or ulcers, and promoting bleeding. That's because the same enzymes they block to prevent pain and inflammation also protect the stomach lining and blood clotting.
However, once you start using naproxen sodium tablets as part of your pain management with your doctor's approval, other reviewers say you'll really see a difference.
"I have three herniated disks and was seeing a spine doctor," wrote one reviewer. "She prescribed an opioid and back injections. I had one round of injections; the pain relief lasted only a few days and the opioid gave me chronic constipation. A friend recommended this product and I haven't looked back. I take two tablets in the morning, under the supervision of my doctor, and I am pain free all day."
A 70-year-old shopper shared: "As an aging ex-athlete I have more than my share of aches and pains mainly from inflammation at the sites of old injuries. Naproxen has proven to be a steady stand-bye in providing the relief I need to ignore the nagging pain from those old transgressions."
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