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PAIN KILLER. What is painkiller medication ?

What is Pain killer ?

Pain killer are powerful drugs that interfere with the nervous system’s transmission of the nerve signals we perceive as pain. Most painkillers also stimulate portions of the brain associated with pleasure. Thus, in addition to blocking pain, they produce a “high.”

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How do painkillers work?

Painkillers interfere with pain messages sent to the brain via nerve endings, which affects the brain, spinal cord or injured area.

NSAIDs work by blocking the creation of prostaglandins by special enzymes Cox-1 and Cox-2. The tissue does not swell, and the pain message coming from the nerves becomes muted without prostaglandins.

Researchers have been debating whether acetaminophen targets serotonin (5HT) neurotransmission within the central nervous system. However, the currently prevailing hypothesis claims that acetaminophen works by inhibiting the COX enzyme, which relieves pain and reduces fever.

Which painkiller is usually prescribed?

The type of painkiller your doctor will prescribe depends upon:

The type of pain you have.

Any other health problems you may have.

How severe your pain is.

The possible side-effects of the medicines.

How should I take painkillers?

People who are in pain all the time are usually recommended to take painkillers regularly. For example, if you have been prescribed paracetamol you will normally take it four times a day, every day until the pain is better. Otherwise, you only need to take painkillers when you need them.

If you are taking an NSAID such as ibuprofen or diclofenac, you will need to take this with or after food. This is because they can irritate the lining of your stomach and sometimes cause bleeding in your stomach.

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So, despite all the noise, it’s very simple. There are four OTC pain medications. It is safe, even helpful, to take some of them together, but not others. A new article in Medical News Today helps sort this out. Although the article speaks only about Aleve and Tylenol it also applies to Tylenol plus the other NSAIDs – aspirin, and ibuprofen.

NSAIDs are generally safe to take with Tylenol, and the two together work better than either one alone. There are three ways to do this:

Taking the NSAID and Tylenol on alternate days, especially for chronic pain, is easier on your stomach and liver than taking either or both drugs daily, but the degree of pain relief may be insufficient.

Taking the NSAID and Tylenol at the same time will give better superior pain relief than in scenario #1 but may wear off before it’s time for the next dose in 4-6 hours.

Alternating the two drugs, for example, the NSAID at 0,4, and 8 hours plus the Tylenol at 2,6, and 10 hours will produce a more sustained level of pain relief.


This is also simple. Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve are all NSAIDs and control pain and inflammation by a common mechanism. But they also produce side effects, most commonly heartburn, gastric bleeding, and ulcers by a common mechanism. So taking Advil plus Aleve is going to mess up your stomach or cause bleeding about the same as taking double the dose or either drug. For this reason, it is not safe to combine NSAIDs

Can I drink alcohol if I’m taking painkillers or NSAIDs?

Most people who take painkillers or NSAIDs will be able to drink alcohol in moderation.

It’s best for all of us to stick within government guidelines of not drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and to spread them through the week. Having two or three days each week when you don’t drink alcohol is good for you.

Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects of some painkillers and NSAIDs. It’s a good idea to read the leaflet that comes with your drug to see what it says about drinking alcohol. Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist if you have any concerns.

Who is most at risk ?

understanding the groups at highest risk for overdose

can help states target interventions. Research shows

that some groups are particularly vulnerable to

prescription painkiller overdose:

•          People who obtain multiple controlled substance

prescriptions from multiple providers—a practice

known as “doctor shopping.”14,15

•          People who take high daily dosages of

prescription painkillers and those who misuse

multiple abuse-prone prescription drugs.15,16,17,18,19

•          Low-income people and those living in rural areas.

–           People on Medicaid are prescribed

painkillers at twice the rate of non-Medicaid

patients and are at six times the risk of

prescription painkillers overdose.20,21 One

Washington state study found that 45% of

people who died from prescription painkiller

overdoses were Medicaid enrollees.20

•          People with mental illness and those with a history

of substance abuse.

Aspirin cannot be taken by children under the age of 16 years, because there is a risk of the child developing Reye’s syndrome (very rare).

PAIN KILLER and overdose .

What causes an overdose?

An overdose occurs when a person uses more of a substance than their body can handle. No one can tell exactly how much of a drug it will take to push someone to the point of an overdose. Different people have different thresholds, but risk factors for an overdose include poor physical health, mental illness, using alone, or having a history of a previous overdose. Whether it occurs accidentally or intentionally, an overdose can often be fatal.

Users of prescription painkillers report a sensation of euphoria when the drug first hits their brains. This is why people become addicted: to continually chase the feeling of being high. Eventually, though, your brain will develop a tolerance to painkillers, and you’ll need to take larger doses of the drug to achieve the same high – and that puts you at risk of an overdose.

Signs and Symptoms

The World Health Organization describes an “opioid overdose triad” of 3 major symptoms that indicate overdose on opioids. These are:

– Constricted (pinpoint) pupils.

– Loss of consciousness.

– Depressed respiration (slowed breathing).

Other indications of overdose may include:

– Cold, clammy skin.

– Drowsiness.

– Lowered blood pressure (hypotension).

– Weak pulse.

– Nausea/vomiting.

Risk Factors

While any abuse of prescription pain killer is dangerous, there are certain factors that may compound the risk of overdose:

– Snorting or injecting the medication.

– Continually increasing your dose.

– Taking the medication in situations where the dose is unknown.

– Taking opioids that are counterfeit or laced with other drugs.

What to Do in Case of Overdose

Opioid overdose is very serious and potentially fatal if not acted upon quickly. If someone in your life is abusing opioids, you should be prepared to react in an efficient and effective manner, so as to give the victim the best chance for survival.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) has provided a detailed guide for what to do in the event of an opioid overdose, whether you are a first responder or family member/friend. Essentially, if you believe someone has overdosed on opioids, you’ll need to take some basic steps:

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Can You Die From a Pain killer Overdose?

People can and are dying from painkiller overdoses at alarmingly increasing rates each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 15,000 people die every year from prescription painkiller overdoses. Nearly half a million emergency department visits in 2009 were related to misuse or abuse of opioid medications.

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