analgesic is that linked to analgesia: the
absence or elimination of pain. The substances that cause this
analgesia are called painkillers.
Thus, when a person talks about pain relievers, it is likely that they are
referring to a drug intended to mitigate a painful sensation in
the body. Painkillers are indicated by doctors to ease body
pain (in muscles, bones, etc.).
The best-known pain reliever is aspirin. In addition to
relieving pain, this pain reliever is anti-inflammatory (reduces
or eliminates inflammation) and antipyretic (reduces
fever). This means that a wide variety of medical conditions
and minor health disorders can be treated with aspirin.
The morphine is an analgesic. Unlike aspirin, which is
available over the counter, the supply of morphine is regulated as it is a drug
that causes addiction. Due to its powerful analgesic action, morphine is usually
prescribed after surgery or in the treatment of cancer.
It is important to note that all pain relievers have contraindications and
can cause adverse effects. Aspirin, for example, can lead to intestinal
problems, including ulcers. As it is a platelet antiplatelet, it helps fight the
development of blood clots in the veins and arteries but, for the same reason,
it can cause bleeding.
Beyond these issues, paying attention to the leaflets and
consulting a medical specialist, painkillers are beneficial to combat everyday
discomforts such as muscle pain or headache.
Specific harm from pain reliever abuse
Medicine has very clearly defined the damage that painkiller abuse can
cause to every part of our body. Let's see below the most important cases.
Drugs such as opiates can suppress our ability to breathe,
and thus interfere with the proper function of the lungs. For
this reason, it is considered that there is a direct relationship between the
abuse of these painkillers and pneumonia.
Inhaling certain opiates, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, on the other
hand, can lead to fluid accumulating in the lungs, leading to particular difficulty
Pain reliever abuse can also affect the gastrointestinal system. For
opiates, even a moderate dose can lead to constipation. When a person increases
the dose far beyond the recommended values, it is common for them to become
dependent on laxatives to stimulate bowel movement, and this can lead to damage to
the sphincter or anus, such as painful fissures.
As can be seen, it is not always the action of the painkiller that is
consumed in excess that affects us directly, but in some cases the greatest
damage begins with the measures we must take to counteract its effects.
Consuming pain relievers in too high amounts also puts the integrity of the liver at risk,
since any drug must be broken down and processed by this organ. Stress on the
liver from excess pain relievers can lead to toxin storage.
The paracetamol found in many of the painkillers is the
cause of the worst damage to the liver: the abuse of Lortab, Percocet and
Vicodin pills, to name a few of the drugs in which it occurs
in high concentrations, can lead to liver failure.
In summary, we should not underestimate the consequences of pain reliever
abuse, as in some cases this behavior can be fatal. It is important, therefore,
to follow the indications of the doctors and always contrast them with those
present in the package leaflets of the medications.