We seem to know too much about the medicines now a day! We diagnose our health problems without any professional help and we even take medicines on our own. We experiment a lot with the pain killers that are available over the counter. But we often forget or don’t care to be vigilant of a lot of factors that are associated with the pain killers. The following might be a few of them…

The types:

Pain killers (analgesics) that are available over the counter might be classified into three kinds.

* Paracetamol.

* Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen.

* Opioids such as Codeine.

These three kinds of drugs work in three different ways. Paracetamol works as a general analgesic. It might be helpful in minor aches like headache. But in cases of inflammation like in the case of a sprain, NSAIDs work better than Paracetamol. Unlike Paracetamol, NSAIDs even work on specific nerves in the body that is the cause of pain. Opioids work on the brain to decrease the sensation of the pain. These are administered in case of severe pain. Apart from these there are `COX-2 inhibitors` that were derived from NSAIDs.



  Risks of Self-medication:



* The drugs available over the counter might be a sort of combination.  For example Combiflam is a combination of `Ibuprofen and paracetamol`. We often forget that some of the ingredients in the tablet should be administered under professional advice.

* Some analgesics might react with other daily medicines that we are taking in.

* Some drugs might prove disastrous if we are suffering with ailments such as `gastrointestinal disorders`.

* Some drugs like `Aspirin` might prove allergic to certain individuals.

* When things don’t seem good… any drug can prove disastrous. Even the most common drug like paracetamol might prove injurious.



*  Prolonged usage of a pain killer is not desirable. Even a headache if persists for days together… should be diagnosed by a physician.

* Over dosage of any drug might be harmful. Even Paracetamol which is considered to be the safest drug,  gets injurious to liver when taken in huge quantities.

* Recurring pain might be a symptom of a long term ailment. They might even hint at a severe condition in our body. An expert should always be consulted in such cases.

* Professionals would help us in finding a pain killer that suits our condition and health. They knew the drug to be administered as per the case. For example ` diclofenac` might suit better for the joint pain. It’s better to reveal them, our medicinal history; drugs we are using; allergies etc. so that they can pin point the best and safest drug for us.

* Taking a pain killer should never be out of habit. Coping with pain is a natural process of our nervous system. Common ailments such as headache, stomach pain might get relieved within an hour.

* Consuming pain killers… particularly those in the class of `Opioids` might be associated with guaranteed side effects. So it’s always a better choice to be aware of what you are taking in.

- nirjara

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