Popping painkillers has more or less come across as a norm, and people just choose to for painkillers, be it for end-of-the-day headache, a body pain post workout, or even minor spinal discomfort. If you do pop in painkillers every now and then, you should be aware that these could have side effects on your health and well being, and may even prove to be addictive.
HOW DO PAINKILLERS WORK?
The two main mechanisms through which painkillers work are:
1. Reducing pain by suppressing formation of chemicals in the body which cause pain.
2. Reducing sensation of pain by binding to opoid receptors of central nervous system.
However, one has to stay wary to make sure that one is always in a position to avoid the side effects which come as a part and parcel of using painkillers. Some of these are:
Painkillers could be highly addictive substances, mainly owing to the feeling of euphoria they create amongst users. The fact that many over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are abused due to addiction could take many by surprise.
A scenario wherein an individual is particularly vulnerable to becoming addicted to painkillers is when one consumes these post surgery for recovery. The underlying idea behind consumption of these painkillers is to numb the pain, but people over time become addictive and iteratively go for higher doses.
Over time, it might be possible that an individual is not able to cope up with withdrawal symptoms and becomes addicted to the effect created by a painkiller.
2. Cardiovascular Effects:
Research has even shown that use of painkillers could lead to cardiovascular complications, some of which include slowing down of heart rate, or even a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
If one goes for painkiller abuse, or consumes more than the quantity of painkillers as prescribed, it could lead to fluctuations in the heart rate. Blood clotting and stroke are some other possible side effects of painkillers on the cardiovascular system.
3. Worsens Headaches:
If one happens to consume painkillers such as paracetamol, asprin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for getting over a headache, and for more than 15 days a month, they are likely to be victims of overuse of drugs. With passage of times, such people could experience headaches which increase in duration, and sometimes in intensity as well.
4. Lead To Kidney Damage:
Any drug that one consumes is released in the bloodstream, and thereafter eliminated after being filtered from the kidneys. Painkillers could influence the process of filtration in following ways
o Interfering with flow of blood to the kidneys.
o Lead to allergic reactions
o Cause direct injury to kidney nephrons
Over time, this could possibly lead to kidney damage and sometimes has even more serious consequences such as leading to a kidney failure.
5. May Even Cause Depression:
Depression is a term normally associated with sadness or even chronic stress. But usage of painkillers has shown to increase symptoms of depression, in particular if one uses opoid analgesics.
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