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When you’re in pain, you want to feel better quickly so you can get on with the demands of your day. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may help, but it is important to use it correctly.

Get your pain reliever dose right. Why?

If you take more medicine than the label says, you may increase your chance of serious side effects. To use OTC pain relievers responsibly:

  • Take the dose directed on the label

  • Wait the right amount of time between doses

  • NEVER take more than the maximum daily limit

  • If your pain lasts for more than 5 days, stop taking the medicine and see a healthcare professional. It’s possible that the problem may need more attention or a different treatment approach may be needed.

Home remedies, ice and heat, and stretching exercises may also reduce your pain. Here are tips for effectively managing 3 common types of pain: back pain, headache and migraine pain, and pain due to the common cold and flu.