Beware of Pain Killers

Whatever be the nature of the pain, whether it is a small head ache, back pain or severe pain due to arthritis we take pain killers for an immediate
relief. But have you ever imagined what effect those innocuous-looking little pill has on your body?

"Pill Man,"  a life size creature made by Francis Huntley from his empty Oxycontin and Methadone prescription bottles.

“Pill Man,” a life size creature made by Francis Huntley from his empty Oxycontin and Methadone prescription bottles.

According to the American Gastroenterological Association, 103,000 people are hospitalized every year because of side effects from common painkillers. With the fast paced lives most of us live, having the time to visit the doctor for minor aches and pains could be a pain in itself. But when it comes to self medication, knowledge is power. So keep these simple things in mind before you pop that next pill.

Painkillers are Two types – 1. OTC or over the counter painkillers (ones which you can buy without a prescription) 2. Prescription only painkillers. They basically act by interfering with the ‘pain’ signal being transmitted to the brain in case of an injury, inflammation or other causes. Thus, essentially, the effect of the painkiller tablets cannot be directed only towards the area from which the pain originates. It has effects which can be seen on many of our organ systems.

According to a recent survey six out of 10 people who suffer regular aches and pains rely on over-the counter painkillers to get them through the day. But many are putting their health at risk because long-term use can be deadly. A report from health watchdog NICE warns of a “very definite trend” linking paracetamol to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and gastric problems and says it should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. It also states to “use cautiously in combination with oral NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)”. NSAIDs,
such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, are known to cause gastric bleeding and experts at Oxford University estimate they are responsible for 12,000 hospital admissions and 2,500 deaths every year.

Whatever the reason for taking a painkiller, here are a few dos and don’ts you should know:

(Read the full part of this article in the June Issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)

Author: SubEditor

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