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Painkillers

Painkillers

Painkillers can reduce the pain, but at the same time there can be certain side effects too. This article provides some information about these pain killers, their uses and side effects, as well as mentions some of the natural ones.
Ratnashri Dutta
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
When a part or whole body of an individual starts aching badly, he/she would try and tolerate it. However, when the pain becomes unbearable, one takes the help of a prescribed painkiller. As the effect starts taking action, the pain in one's body ceases, and he/she would feel relieved. These pills should, however, not be confused with anesthesia as the latter also makes the area numb. However, these pills might have certain side effects associated with them as well.
What are They?
These pills are also known as analgesic, which has been derived from a Greek word an which means 'without' and algos which means 'pain'. They are members of that group of drugs that are used to relieve pain. One can categorize them in several ways; one, the over-the-counter pills which does not need a prescription to buy, and the ones that require a prescription for their purchase. The next method of categorizing them are by their chemical type. The first chemical is the opiates which can also be called narcotics, non-selective non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the selective NSAIDS, some that does not fit into any of the categories above, and some of various chemical combination.
These with the chemical combination of opiates, were the first analgesics to be discovered around 3400 BC, in Greece. During the 5th century BC, Hippocrates used opium along with salicin from the willow bark, which was later used as an aspirin, by the German chemist Felix Hoffman, in the late 19th century. It was only in the 20th century, that NSAIDs were discovered for the first time and indomethacin was the first NSAID that was discovered. The person who discovered this was an American chemist, Tsung-Ying Shen, in the 1960s. The COX-2 (semi-selective and selective NSAID) inhibitors were discovered for the first time by a US professor W.L. Xie and his teammates in the year 1991.
Uses
While experiencing unbearable pain, people are often confused as to which ones would work the best for them. There are so many pills in the market that one tends to get confused about which one to opt for. Here is a list of some of the common analgesics and their best uses, that might prove beneficial to decide which one to choose.
  • Aspirin is good for all kinds of pains and earlier it was very popular, as it was believed to lower the chances or risk of the person getting affected by stroke or any kind of heart diseases.
  • If one experiences terrible tooth ache, or has fallen down and sprained his/her hand or leg and cannot bear the pain, then it is better to opt for paracetamol. This analgesic is good for splitting headaches, as well as getting rid of the common cold and fever. It is an over-the-counter pill.
  • Morphine is a prescription drug that eases the pain that is caused by heart attacks. It also reduces back pain, or pain caused by kidney stones, and even pain after surgery. However, one has to be very careful about using morphine as it can be addictive.
  • Codeine is another popular choice and it is used as a general pain reliever. Sometimes, doctors even ask the affected people to use this pill along with some other prescribed medications.
  • Ibuprofen, is a good over-the-counter pill for pains in the muscles, migraines, minor sprains and strains, arthritis, menstrual pains or cramps, and even severe toothaches. However, they also have certain side effects.
  • Piroxicam is an analgesic that is believed to be good for a sportsperson, in the cases, that include spraining his/her limbs or when experiencing tennis elbow or for an injury (while playing). This pill can also be taken in by those affected by tendonitis or juvenile arthritis.
However, administering a pill when experiencing unbearable pain so as to ease it is fine, and one should be aware that an excessive intake of the same can have several side effects also. Furthermore, these side effects are very common specially among those who administer them frequently.
Side Effects
These would vary from one person to another and the various drugs have different kind of side effects. Hence, one should take them only when the pain is absolutely unbearable. If you feel that you can manage to bear it, avoid taking these pills as much as possible.
Here are some of the common ones:
  • Constipation can be a major problem for many. Hence along with the pill, there are various constipation relief medicines that one can try out.
  • Some people might also experience itchy skin problem and their skin may also become sensitive. There are people who might also develop hives on the intake.
  • Blurred vision is another problem that people may experience. However, this is only a case of severe side effect of these pills.
  • Stomach-related problems such as indigestion, or stomach ache, or even diarrhea are some of the common ones that are observed.
  • The person may also experience drowsiness, feel dizzy, and become lethargic.
  • Production of saliva in the mouth is reduced, hence the mouth becomes very dry and uncomfortable.
  • The worst ones include the person getting addicted to them and consuming the same even for the slightest pain, not realizing what harm they are causing to their body.
Natural Pain Relievers
Instead of opting for the chemical ones, it's best that one goes for the natural painkillers, as they are less harmful. They too ease pain like any other pills.
  • Turmeric is a good natural remedy for any kind of pain. This can be used in the place of NSAID and they have no side effects.
  • Olive Oil is equal to ibuprofen and if taken daily, it reduces the chances of clotting of the blood, and even cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Human saliva is also believed to be a good pain reliever and it is 6 times more powerful than morphine. It is said to have been proved that saliva is really a good painkiller. This too has no side effects.
Nowadays, you can get a prescription over the Internet as well, however it is best that you do not go for it as sometimes it might be illegal. It is better to ask the concerned doctor before taking any kind of analgesic and take it only when the pain really becomes unbearable. Otherwise just try to avoid it or use the natural ones.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.