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9 Important Facts About Painkillers

By Chandana Rao

As humans, all of us would have experienced some kind of physical pain, at least a few times in our lives, right?
In fact, if a person hasn't experienced pain, it could indicate the presence of certain nerve-related disorders!

So, pain is a very common symptom of diseases and injury, which is experienced by people, quite often, regardless of the age and gender.

facts about painkillers

Certain types of pain could be mild and temporary, while the other types could be extremely intense and may stay for a longer time!

For instance, a pain from a broken bone or a ligament tear could be very intense and long-term, whereas a migraine or menstrual cramps pain could go away in a day, although they are intense.

So, with certain kinds of pain, when they are too intense and long-term, people tend to go in for painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, which can give them temporary relief.

However, painkillers are extremely potent medications which may have adverse effects on your health, in the long run.

So, here are a few important facts about painkillers.

1. Do You Really Need Them?

First of all, even before you think about painkillers, it is important to analyse the intensity of your pain and determine whether it is bad enough to need the help of painkillers. Many types of pain can go away on their own and if you think that you can bear it for a few days, then painkillers are not required at all because these drugs do not heal your condition, but they only provide temporary relief.

2. Treat The Source

Every type of pain has a source, that is, it arises for an ailment or an injury and pain is just a symptom. So, rather than taking painkillers to attain temporary relief, it would be ideal to go to a professional and have them identify the source of your pain and get treated accordingly, so that the pain heals permanently.

3. Find A Specialist

If you are suffering from a disease or injury, which has resulted in long-term pain, find a specialist who can help treat these conditions, using alternate therapies or surgeries, instead of taking painkillers for a long time. Usually, specialists can determine how long it would take for the pain to heal, after conducting a number of tests.

4. Avoid Self-Medicating

Self-medicating or taking medications without them being prescribed by a doctor, is a very dangerous habit, with any drugs, but more so with painkillers, as an overdose of painkillers could be fatal! So, if you are in too much pain, go to a doctor and have the doses prescribed, according to the intensity of your pain.

5. Learn About The Side-Effects

Just like many other medications, even painkillers have a number of side-effects, including death! So, you must make yourself aware of all the side-effects of taking painkillers, before consuming them. Digestive problems, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, low blood pressure, heart attacks, etc., are some of the common side-effects of most prescription painkillers. However, when the right doses are taken, side-effects are not apparent.

6. Painkillers Can Be Addictive

One of the biggest and most dangerous side-effect of painkillers is psychological addiction. In fact, thousands of people around the world become addicted to prescription painkillers, to the point of needing medical help! The feeling of relief that the painkillers provide is the cause for addictions and many people who are addicted may continue to take them, even after the pain is healed!

7. Painkillers Can Lead To Substance Abuse

A number of research studies and surveys have noted that, people who start taking painkillers and become addicted to them, are at a higher risk of abusing other substances such as cocaine, alcohol and heroine. This could be because the "high" that they are attaining from painkillers is no longer enough, as their body becomes resistant to the opiates in painkillers.

8. Organ Damage

Yet another serious implication of taking strong painkillers for a long time, is organ damage. The painkillers contain certain potent chemicals in them, which are hard for the body to breakdown and flush out. So, the organs like the liver and heart have to work extra hard to try and breakdown these chemicals. So, if the body is receiving painkillers to breakdown on a regular basis, it could weaken the organs like the liver and heart, eventually damaging them.

9. Know Your Medical History

If you are going to a new doctor or a specialist for your pain and they prescribe painkillers, it is important to let them know about your medical history. For example, the diseases you have suffered from previously, allergies you may have, history of psychological issues, if any, etc. This way, the doctor will be able to prescribe the dosage of painkillers according to your medical condition.

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Read more about: painkillers
Story first published: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 22:00 [IST]
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