Painkillers used to relieve pain during any illness and injury or after surgery are an important part of the treatment. Painkillers are also frequently prescribed to patients who apply to physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics. For these drugs to be effective, they must be used correctly.
There are many pain relievers with different properties. These are commonly referred to as analgesic drugs. It can be produced as a pill (tablet or capsule), needle (intramuscular or intravenous) or to be applied to the skin (cream, gel, tape, etc.). Some pain relievers act by reducing the sensitivity of nerve cells to pain. Others prevent the production of certain molecules associated with pain in the body.
When planning pain relief treatment, the 3-step treatment ladder recommended by the World Health Organization can be taken into account. Accordingly, acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be preferred in the first step for mild pain. Weak morphine-derived drugs (codeine, tramadol, etc.) can be added for moderate-to-severe pain where these drugs are not sufficient. For very severe pain, stronger morphine type drugs (morphine, fentanyl, etc.) can be preferred. Anti-depressant or anti-epileptic supportive drugs, called adjuvant therapy, can also be added to the treatment at every step. In cases where there is no adequate response with drug therapy, interventional methods such as nerve block, local injection, spinal analgesia, radiofrequency ablation can be applied depending on the nature of the disease.
Are Painkillers Safe?
Painkillers are very safe if you use them as your doctor advises and recommends. However, if used incorrectly, they can be very harmful or even deadly. Therefore, correct use is very important. You need to follow the usage and dosage recommended by your doctor. Painkillers are not the kind of drugs that people can recommend to each other. Because the effect and side effect profile of each drug differs. Additional diseases in a person affect drug preference.
What You Should Know About Acetamonifen
Drugs containing acetaminophen are generally preferred and considered safe pain relievers for first-line pain relief. It is recommended to swallow the tablets with plenty of water. It can cause liver damage if taken in high doses. There is an increased risk of liver damage if you drink excessive alcohol (3 or more units per day) while taking this medicine.
Acetaminophen is a drug that can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is produced in syrup form for children. It is used as a pain reliever and antipyretic in children. The scale is determined according to weight in children. Special attention should be paid to the recommended dose in order to have an effect without side effects.
If you do not feel pain relief despite taking acetaminophen-containing drugs at the recommended dose, even higher doses will not be helpful. If you share the situation with your doctor, he or she may suggest different treatments.
Acetaminophen can be found alone or in combination with another molecule. To avoid overdose, you should pay attention to the active ingredient of the drugs you use.
What Are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs?
If acetaminophen is not helpful, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be preferred. Many different molecules such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen are in this group. There are forms in the form of pills, suppositories, creams and needles. It is recommended to take tablet or capsule forms with some liquid during meals.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently used in arthritis pain, low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, pain due to rheumatism. It emphasizes that they show “anti-inflammatory” inflammation, that is, activation of the immune system and reducing edema.
As a general rule, the first choice for painkillers is oral tablet or capsule forms. Cream / gel forms are also effective in local pain. Intramuscular or intravenous injection form is preferred in cases where oral medication cannot be taken due to various reasons (nausea, difficulty in swallowing, etc.).
If they are used too much, they can cause stomach bleeding. This risk is higher in people over the age of 60, taking blood thinners, using steroid medication, people who have had stomach bleeding before, and those with blood clotting disorders.
NSAIDs can also cause kidney damage. The risk is increased in people over 60 years of age, using diuretic drugs, hypertension, heart disease, and known kidney disease.
Patients who have had a recent heart attack or stroke are at higher risk for NSAID side effects.
In these drugs, it is preferred to use the lowest possible effective dose for the shortest time. The optimal dose may vary from person to person. If it is used for more than 10 days, you should definitely consult your doctor.
Opiod Drugs (Types of Morphine)
Second and third-line pain relievers. They can cause side effects such as sleepiness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, difficulty in swallowing and breathing. It is not recommended to drive and use machines, especially during the first initiation of the drug. Absolutely no alcohol should be consumed with it. The effective dose of these drugs may vary from person to person. It can be started with a low dose and gradually increased. These are drugs that can be purchased with a green prescription in our country.
Acetaminophen and NSAIDs are available in dozens of different brands. These drugs can be recommended for different diseases. For example, one brand of the same molecule can be marketed for colds, another brand for toothache, and another brand for back and neck pain. For this reason, it is possible for patients to use different brands of the same type of drugs at the same time. This creates a risk of overdose. To avoid overdose, you should pay attention to the active ingredient of the drugs you use, and you should know the names of other drugs you use when you go to the doctor’s examination. For this, you can take their boxes with you or you can list their names.
How Should Pain Relief Medicines Be Used?
In order for the drugs to be effective after they are taken, they must be present at a certain level in the blood. While some drugs act in a short time, some drugs are designed to act all day. Therefore, the pain does not take quite a lot, regular use is required. It is also not correct to use drugs according to morning-noon-evening meals. A drug to be taken once a day should be used at the same time every day, a drug that should be used twice a day should be taken with an interval of 12 hours, and a drug that should be used three times a day should be taken with an interval of 8 hours. If taken on an empty stomach, the risk of stomach discomfort may increase, it is generally recommended to be taken with some food and plenty of fluids.
Morphine-type pain relievers carry a risk of abuse. These drugs carry a risk of addiction if used uncontrolled. To avoid this, they can only be obtained with a green prescription. Some anti-epileptic drugs, which are used as adjuvant drugs in the treatment of pain, can also be abused other than their main purpose.
Non-Drug Pain Relief Treatments
Physical therapy methods provide pain relief without the use of drugs. TENS, heating treatments, cold application, ultrasound therapy, low-energy laser therapy are some of these methods. Dry needling is another very effective and safe method for relieving muscle pain. Traditional medicine methods such as acupuncture and manual therapy can also be preferred in suitable patients.