O, The Oprah Magazine | From the January 2002 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Headache, body aches, sore throat, fever
What the drug does:
Suppresses the production of prostaglandin, which makes your nerve endings register pain and causes the involved area to swell. Pain relievers also often help thin the blood and reduce fever.
Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are more effective anti-inflammatory agents than aspirin and far less irritating to the stomach.
Who should avoid:
People with gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, or bleeding disorders should check with their doctor before taking pain relievers. The same is true for pregnant or nursing women.