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Would You Recommend Tylenol to Your Customers Who Fear Death? Maybe You Should.

  • May 22, 2013
  • RPh on the Go

Taking an over the counter pain reliever can also treat anxiety over fear of death and the unknown after we pass on. Pain extends far beyond the physical, transcending a scope of mental, emotional, and psychological needs to be met and addressed. Research has lead a team of scientists to believe that acetaminophen can have a positive effect on things such as existential dread, fear of death, or anxiety over an illness. Being careful to address the needs of clients in trying times such as facing the death of a family member, their own mortality, or the suffering of a loved one is important.

The research conducted found that participants in the experiment were better able to cope with worrisome ideas than those that were in the control group. Those who took acetaminophen had a more relaxed view than their control group participants, when asked to judge the crimes of a group of criminals and rioters. This lax approach can be attributed to decreased anxiety. Anxiety is a fight-or-flight response that often is treated with a combination of medication such as SSRIs and a therapy regimen. Some patients may prefer taking acetaminophen over taking an antidepressant to manage their anxiety or feelings of dread over the unknown, death, or outside forces in their lives.

Acetaminophen and other over the counter pain medication can lead to liver damage, so it is advised to caution customers to limit their dosage of these medications. Testing and research is not yet complete on whether or not over the counter pain medication is an effective treatment for anxiety, and much more work still needs to be done to assess whether this common household item may hold the key to treating anxiety. Feeling anxious, distraught, or experiencing feelings of debilitating fear when faced with death, terminal illness, or the death of someone we know is common. However, allowing one’s life to be ruled by fear is not. That distinction is where a pharmacy can step in and make recommendation to help patients treat their fear and anxiety either with a medication schedule or through therapy sessions.

What are some things your pharmacy is doing to treat patients who experience anxiety over death? Are your methods tried-and-true or off the grid? When it comes to mortality, there is no right or wrong answer, and everyone is unique. Finding a medical solution to a common problem we all experience is important when addressing the concerns of clients that suffer from this type of anxiety. Death is something that we all must face at one point or another, whether it is our own mortality or that of those closest to us. Ensuring that your pharmacy knows how to deal with client concerns is an important step toward easing customer’s fears. Share your suggestions for dealing with this sensitive subject in the comments below.


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