[Disclaimer: This article should not be used for diagnostic & prescribing purpose. It is produced for general knowledge and raising awareness for the overdose dangers.]
“Oh… My head/leg/arm is killing me. Where is the bottle of pain killer??”
This is the most common urge we have when we are in any type of physical pain. Very few persons can resist this temptation of taking pain killers (and I salute those few!).
Being in constant pain, I also had to take pain killers almost every day, sometimes twice or thrice daily. I had no choice. My shoulder and arms were killing me… and I felt like I’m going to die with this pain.
So seeing me like this, one of my surgery professors advised me, “You should stop taking pain killers. You know that, right?”
(Yes, I knew. Pain killers were not giving relief! But still…..)
Then he added, “Beside the TOS problems you are going to develop gastric problems too. So you should stop it.”
Well, I didn’t listen to him…. at first.
I wondered, “How on earth does he know what I am going through?”
May be he didn’t. But he was right.
Regular intake of pain killers may give you temporary relief. But it creates long term effects…negative effects.
So I am here today to share with all of you some facts about painkillers.
Pain-killers or Analgesics are widely used drugs which are used to ease the pain. These are categorized into 2 main types-
Non narcotic (which are popularly known as NSAID =Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) – Aspirin, Ibuprofen.
- Narcotic – Morphine, Pethidine, Hydrocodone which are given in case of a trauma or post operative pain.
These medications are given regarding the severity of the pain.
Let’s get to know the most talked about pain killer drugs.
Paracetamol– It is a widely used drug which is prescribed for mild pain or fever. Prolonged daily use can cause stomach bleeding. I read an article in BBC news about negative effects of Paracetamol overdose. You can go to this link to read the full article.
Ibuprofen– It is prescribed in mild to moderate pain along or without mild Opioid. All NSAID poses the risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding. It also increases cardio-vascular risk and it’s an absolute no-no in pregnancy.
Aspirin– It is also a NSAID but not so effective as a painkiller and it should not be given to children aged less than 12 years.
Tramadol– This painkiller is of opioid variety. Long term usage of high dose has the probability to cause physical, psychological dependence and Withdrawal syndrome .
I am not trying to make you paranoid or create fear in your mind for pain medications. I know many of you already know these stuffs…but still there are few around who are oblivious of these facts. Just follow your doctor’s prescription and advice then it is okay to take the medication.
There are also alternative approaches for pain control…like acupuncture, massage therapy, aroma therapy. If you are into alternative medicine, then you should definitely try these methods.
Have you tried any of these methods? How was your experience? Let us know.
If you want to check out some useful facts about dealing with chronic pain, then go to this link .
[…] are natural alternatives to NSAIDsthat have a similar mechanism,” says David C. Leopold, MD, director of Integrative Medical […]
The “weak” component that you described explains why many people complain of the ineffectiveness of tramadol compared to other pain killers.
Thanks for the feedback. Tramadol is a very weak “mu Opioid receptor agonist”. It means it acts as an opioid, binds with the opioid receptors in our body. The argument if it's an opioid or not, is not yet settled. It shows the mechanism of both opioid and non-opioid.
The withdrawal effect is lesser than the opioid drugs,but it's not uncommon or rare. Check out the following article here to read about the withdrawal effects of Tramadol. http://pain.emedtv.com/tramadol/tramadol-withdrawal.html
Tramadol actually does not contain an opiate and is non-narcotic. This is a better option than many narcotic pain killers as is does not carry the high risk of abuse and addiction/withdrawal.
Here are some of the most prescribed narcotic pain killers in the US: