Excessive Use of Pain Relievers

Q.I am 16, and I play soccer very seriously. Last season I hurt my knee and unfortunately continued to play for two months. After that I could not play soccer for 11 months. Now my knee hurts a lot when I run or play soccer. Doctors explain that after such a complicated injury this is normal.

They say that I can’t do any more damage, and I just have to deal with the pain. So, to do that, I started out taking six Advil before each soccer game or practice, and four more about halfway through. But that doesn’t work anymore, and now I’ve built up to taking about 15 before and four or five more midway.

I know this is potentially dangerous, but I don’t know exactly what the dangers are. How is it possible that I take so many (about 20 within two hours) and I am never sick? What could this do to me in the near future? Over the long term?


A.I’m glad you’re wondering about taking this amount of a medication, even if it seems like a harmless over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. Taking 20 pills in two hours is WAY beyond the recommended dosage of one to two every four to six hours!