Painkillers for Pain Relief
Analgesic is a term used for any type of drug which is used in order to relieve pain. The name for such drugs is derived from the Greek prefix an- which stands for without, and the word algos which means pain. There are numerous ways in which analgesics work, as some of them affect the central nervous system while some others affect the peripheral nervous system. Most analgesics are completely safe to use if one follows the instructions from a doctor or a pharmacist. Analgesics can be purchased in all pharmacies and they come in different forms such as liquids, soluble powders, suppositories, capsules and tablets. In most cases they are intended for oral use and some of them may also be helpful with certain other medical conditions and their symptoms such as cough, diarrhea, swelling, inflammatory conditions, flu, fever and common cold. Different people experience different effects of analgesics depending on their weight, size and overall health. It is important to stress out than analgesics should not be used on a long term basis because that may lead to the development of psychological dependence. One should never mix analgesics with alcohol or other types of over the counter and prescribed medications. If a person mixes ibuprofen with Aspirin and alcohol it usually leads to discomfort and irritation in the stomach. Aspirin and ibuprofen should never be taken with any blood pressure medicines. If one mixes codeine with certain types of antihistamines, antidepressants or benzodiazepines it may lead to increased severity of depression and a reduced breathing rate. Constant use of analgesics may serious affect one’s life and cause of lot of different types of social problems. Personal relationships and family values can get destroyed by the common frustration and disagreements over the use of drugs. One may also get himself or herself involved with various health and legal problems which may have a very negative effects on the financial, personal and work relationships. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should steer clear of analgesics as much as possible because it may lead to certain medical complications for both the mother and the child.
According to various sources, analgesics are the most widely used type of drug among students. 95 percent of students have used analgesics at some time in their life, while approximately 43 percent of them tend to use them frequently in order to deal with different medical problems. As the person grows older he or she tends to use more and more analgesics. It is also important to stress out that female persons usually use analgesics much more than male persons do. The most common reasons for the use of analgesics among students include sports injuries, menstrual pain, dental work, toothache, flu symptoms, cold symptoms, migraines and headaches. Only a small number of students use analgesics for no medical reasons.
Types of Analgesics
There are numerous different types of analgesics available on the market, but all of them can be divided into several groups. Paracetamol is one of the most commonly used types of analgesics. Paracetamol tends to affect the central nervous system. Very similar to paracetamol are the so colled NSAIDs which are actually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Among the most common ones is the Aspirin and it is very efficient in inhibiting the cyclooxygenases which leads to the reduced production of prostaglandin and reduced inflammatory conditions and pain. Paracetamol may be associated with kidney damage and liver damage, while NSAIDs may be associated with Reye’s syndrome, hemorrhage, hearing loss, allergic reactions, renal failure and peptic ulcers. Another group of medications which is derived from NSAIDs is known as COX-2 inhibitors. These medicaments are very efficient in blocking the COX-2 inducible cyclooxygenase enzyme. They are superior to the NSAIDs because they are not associated with gastrointestinal hemorrhage. On the other hand, they may be associated with certain cerebrovascular and cardiac problems. There are also certain types of drugs which are referred to as opiates and those include morphine, pethidine, dihydromorphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine, among others. Opioids and very efficient in relieving the painful sensations, but unfortunately they may also be associated with certain unpleasant types of side effects. Among the most common ones are nausea and vomiting. Opioids are also often associated with itching and constipation, so they usually need to be accompanied by certain types of laxatives. Opioids are very dangerous because they are commonly associated with an increased risk of an addiction. Another type of analgesic which is commonly used is known by the name of flupirtine. It is a centrally acting K+ channel opener and it is usually used in cases of moderate to strong pain. Migraine sufferers also often rely on this medication. There are also other specific agents which may have certain analgesic properties and those include anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants.