About the Campaign


More than 80 million Americans take OTC pain medicines every week for different reasons — pain, cold and cough, flu, allergies, sleep and morei,ii. The Gut Check: Know Your Medicine campaign has the resources to help you be comfortable, enjoy life and try to do what’s needed to better control your pain. The American Gastroenterological Association developed the campaign in an effort to reduce the amount of preventable health issues that thousands of people face every year.

It is estimated that in the U.S. each year the risk of death related to medications is 35 deaths for acetaminophen, 64 deaths for ibuprofen and 118 deaths for naproxen sodium per million in the populationiii. Gastroenterologists often see patients with these complications and want you to know how to safely use your medicine. In most cases, the simple act of reading and following your medicine labels can help to prevent harmful medication interactions or overdose.

Overdose of common active ingredients, such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, can lead to harmful side effects, like gastrointestinal bleeding or liver damage. By reading and understanding your medicine labels, you can determine which medicines share the same ingredients that could be harmful when doubled.

Our Experts

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Byron L. Cryer, MD

Byron L. Cryer, MD, obtained his BA degree from Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, in 1982, and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, in 1986, where he also completed his internal medicine residency training from 1986 to 1989. Dr. Cryer obtained his gastroenterology fellowship training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (1989-92), where he has since remained as a member of the gastroenterology faculty. Dr. Cryer’s clinical interests are in general gastroenterology. His specific areas of interest are acid-peptic diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Specific disease states of interest are Helicobacter pylori-induced ulcer disease and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced ulcers. Within the AGA, Dr. Cryer has held many leadership positions. He is the past chair of the AGA Underrepresented Minorities Committee and a prior member of the AGA International Committee, AGA Institute Research Policy Committee, and AGA Institute Education and Training Committee. He has also led several AGA-sponsored public awareness campaigns to reduce the GI risks of NSAIDs and other commonly taken pain medications. Dr. Cryer currently holds the position of councillor-at-large on the AGA Institute Governing Board.

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Charles Melbern Wilcox, MD

Charles Melbern Wilcox, MD, is a professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the co-author of “Atlas of Clinical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 3rd Edition” Dr. Wilcox earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in 1983. He performed an internship, residency and chief residency at the University of Alabama Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. He also holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama School of Public Health. Dr. Wilcox is board certified in internal medicine with sub-specialties in hepatology and gastroenterology. He has special expertise in endoscopy, endoscopic surgery, HIV/AIDS gastrointestinal complications and pancreatic diseases.

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Anne M. Larson, MD

Anne M. Larson, MD, is the clinical professor of medicine at the Northwest Hospital/University of Washington Medicine Liver Clinic in Seattle. She received her medical degree and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. She did her gastroenterology fellowship training at the University of California San Diego, and her transplant hepatology fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Larson is board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. She is a nationally recognized researcher and lecturer, and is recognized as a leader in the field of hepatology.

  • Nordqvist, C. (2011, July 28). Tylenol Maximum Daily Dosage To Drop To 3,000mg Per Day From 4,000mg. Medical News Today.
  • McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals. (2002, September 20). Briefing packet for the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee.
  • Singh Gurkirpal, MD. “Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy.” The American Journal of Medicine. July 27, 1998, p. 31S.
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