Advice Please: OTC Pain Meds

Winter aches and pains are beginning to visit my joints. Haven’t taken any tylenol or ibuprofin since my diagnosis. I remember that post-op last winter, I weaned off the hard core meds with alleve. But I could use some advice for regular, though not daily use—maybe 2 or 3 times a week to take the edge off aches before bed, for instance. My #s are ok at the moment–both BG and BP and I’d like to keep them that way. Is there a Best Choice for a middle-aged T2?..Thanks for any help you can give…Judith in Portland

I don’t know about acetominophen (Tylenol), but I was told to absolutely not take nsaids, such as ibuprofe or alleve as they can damage the kidneys. I take one baby aspirin per day, so obviously that’s okay.
But, each person is different, as are type 1’s (me) and type 2’s.
As far as blood pressure goes, the bad OTC culprits are nasal decongestants, both oral and the stuff you spray up your nose. They can really raise blood pressure.
I know what you mean about “middle-aged aches” - mine are in the morning. I am so stiff that it takes me at least 30 minutes to really get moving. Once I’m revved, however, I’m good for the day.


Here’s the ugly truth. Both Tylenol and NSAIDs (motril, ibuprofen, advil) have a lifetime dose at which they damage your kidneys. For Tylenol it isn’t all that high. In addition these drugs also cause a significant rise in blood pressure even in people without diabetes. The blood pressure rise may be a very early warning of kidney damage.

For details, scroll to the bottom of this page: and follow the links to see the details.

So it looks like aspirin is by far the very best option for pain control, unless you have a problem with bleeding. I, unfortunately, cannot take Aspirin or any NSAID so I take the very lowest dose of Tylenol that works–often 1/2 of a 325 mg pill. NEVER buy the “extra strengh” of Tylenol or a NSAID as the doseage is so high you could easily meet the lifetime damage threshold in a year or so.

I have some serious orthopedic pain and because of my fear of the kidney damages, my doctor lets me use Darvon or Tramadol when I have a severe episode as neither of these is hard on the kidneys. I haven’t used either in almost six months, but it is good to know there are options when things get very tough.

Tylenol is a good choice so is advil liquid gels (which are my favorit)