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What is the best medication to take for common muscle aches?

If you just have some regular old muscle aches what should you take? Like as far as over the counter medication what is the best thing to take so your muscles heal and they don't hurt for so long?
First of all, it is important to figure out why your muscles are aching. For example, if you are exercising for long periods of time and as a result are very sore afterwards, then it is important to address the problem of overexercising, as continuing to cause significant muscle soreness from too vigorous exercise is not good for you in the long term. Similarly, if you are sore from heavy lifting or other job activities, then you should work with your managers and others to make sure that your job is not too demanding for your level of ability and physical fitness. All that being said, there are several over the counter medications that are excellent for muscle aches and pains. These include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and naproxen. However, each one of these medications has its own set of side effects. For example, aspirin thins the blood and can lead to bruising. Acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver when combined with alcohol or other medications. Ibuprofen and naproxen can both cause stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your primary care doctor before deciding which of these medications is best for your particular case.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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