You might have read about the study where acetaminophen (Tylenol, paracetamol), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, ibuprofen; Advil and Motrin), and aspirin were associated with development of high blood pressure.

What should you do if you take these drugs regularly and have high blood pressure?

Check with your doctor to see if it’s worthwhile to take an analgesic holiday. A few days off your pain medicine might make a change in your blood pressure.

You might also consider herbals and supplements as options for pain relief. But be aware, that they are generally weak analgesics compared to readily available over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs.

Other options include acupuncture (here, and here), chiropractic, and massage. Also, consider muscle-strengthening exercises, weight loss (if overweight), physical and occupational therapy, appropriate footwear, and assistive devices. There is also evidence that psychological treatment contributes to pain relief.

There are so many options beyond the pill. Consider this a partial list.

Illustration: World of Warcraft

3/3/07 15:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.