Pain killers or analgesics are one of the most popular medicines one can take without a prescription. These are commonly referred to as Over-the-Counter (OTC) pain killers. There are also stronger analgesics that can only be procured when accompanied with a written doctor’s prescription. One of the most common classes of analgesics are referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDS include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Diclofenac etc. Analgesics are usually available as liquids, tablets or capsules to be taken by mouth or as injection or as suppositories which are administered anally. Newer formulations come as transdermal patches, something like band-aid/plaster.

Any time you have a headache or joint pain or even stomach ache, you instantly search for solution to get rid of the discomfort. The same thing happens when you are experiencing some form of pain in your body. You immediately try to get something that will numb that pain. However, what is more important than making the pain disappear is to find the root cause of the pain. The cause of the pain may not be clear to you. This is when you may need the help of a medical doctor. After careful diagnosis, the doctor may or may not prescribe one of these analgesics to you. This is to say that sometimes, the unnecessary use of pain killers can make treatment a waste of time. Also, it can lead to developing persistent pain.

  • Painkillers can be harmful. Yes, they can especially when taken incorrectly. Overdose, either planned or unplanned. For instance, taking a higher dose than recommended can lead to liver damage and even death. Excessive use of NSAIDs can aggravate and complicate ulcers or even result in kidney damage. It is important to have the correct dose and duration of use. This is to reduce the danger of side effects. The longer the drug is used, the greater the chance of side effects.

  • You need to relieve pain gradually. Generally, painkillers are characterized by one or more side effects. Those in the medical field understand that pain must be subdued gradually. So, whenever you visit your physician as a result of a particular pain you are feeling, when he or she prescribes a painkiller you could use, do not over use it because you are in a hurry to make the ache vanish completely. Follow the prescription.

  • Not everyone can take painkillers. It is very rare for anyone not to be able to take some kind of painkillers. The main reason why you may not be able to take a painkiller is if you have had a serious side-effect or an allergic reaction to a particular kind of painkiller in the past. Even if this happens, your doctor will usually be able to choose a different class of painkiller, which you will be able to take. Again, you shouldn’t use a particular painkiller because a friend or neighbour used it and it worked for them. See a physician to know what works best for you.

  • Painkillers have different purposes.

    The type of painkiller your physician will prescribe depends on a number of factors. The type of pain you have, any other health problems you may have, how severe your pain is, and the possible side-effects of the medicines. For instance, Paracetamol is often prescribed if your pain is not too severe and you do not have irritations.

  • Painkillers can be addictive. Painkillers shouldn’t be used for more than a few days in a row. Also, you shouldn\’t exceed the specified dosage. Those who misuse or abuse opioid analgesics such as Tramadol are at risk of developing an addiction. These drugs can be quite effective. However they may result in physical dependence and addiction with prolonged use.

So when you are in pain, do not be in a hurry to get an analgesic medication. You need to remember that it’s more important to find the root cause of that pain. The safest thing is to pay a visit to your doctor. Then he or she can recommend the appropriate analgesic for your presentation at the time. If you still have further concerns, consult with your doctor or community pharmacist. Say no to self-medication.

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