Dealing with Painkiller Addiction and Side Effects of Painkillers
Side Effects of Painkillers
Painkillers are being increasingly used in every household and these include both over the counter painkillers and the ones that are prescribed by doctors. Painkillers are used mostly for temporary relief from pain and are regularly used and prescribed for medical conditions such as migraines, arthritis, back injuries and others. Many a times, painkillers are prescribed for aiding in the recovery process after surgeries. As with any other product, excessive use of painkillers can have many side effects. Some of these side effects of painkillers are simple in nature and do not cause any severe harm. However, some other side effects of painkillers have been known to cause additional harmful complications in the human body. Medical practitioners ensure that they have some remedy for the painkillers suggested by them. But, patients taking over the counter painkillers should be extremely careful as they not bear the risk the harmful side effects of painkillers but may also lead to painkillers addiction if consumed in excess over a prolonged duration. There have been extensive studies reported in the side effects of painkillers. Pregnant women should be extra careful while taking painkillers as some of the painkillers may have undesired effects on the unborn kid. Some of the common side effects of painkillers which also manifest as painkiller addition symptoms are Constipation, Drowsiness, Addiction, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Effects and Mental Side Effects.
This is one of the most common side effects of painkillers. Drinking plenty of fluids while the painkillers are being administered helps reduce this problem. If the painkiller doses are very high, some form of stool softener is also prescribed by the medical practitioner to help provide relief. A natural remedy is to intake diet with large amount of fibers.
The purpose of painkillers at times may be to numb some parts of the nervous system so that the subject does not feel the pain. This numbing can very often lead to drowsiness in the individual which is a common side effect of painkillers.
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Effects
Painkillers can have dramatic effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory activities of the human body and is a serious side effect of painkillers. In some cases, they have been reported to cause severe fluctuations in these systems. There are also instances wherein these fluctuations have proven fatal.
Mental Side Effects
Some painkillers contain substances like opiates and can cause severe mental side effects. The most common side effect of painkiller is difficulty in sleeping. This loss in sleep in turn can lead to several other ill effects. Other direct side effects of painkillers include inability to make a quick decision, hallucinations and even nightmares.
Addiction is nothing but a behavioral phenomenon and this is not very common with people in pain. Painkiller addiction is a common problem these days that affects certain unsuspecting people who have been using painkillers for good medical reasons initially. In cases of painkiller addition people even end up consuming more than 30 tablets a day when only 5 tablets is the recommended safe limit. By abusing over the counter painkillers, individuals often put themselves at risk of various other diseases such as respiratory problems, liver failure, gall bladder problems and even extreme stomach damage.
Painkiller Addiction Symptoms
Most individuals who are suffering from painkiller addition are not aware that they have a serious problem. There are various symptoms associated with painkiller addiction and some of the painkiller addiction symptoms are uncontrollable cravings for pain killers, loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, hallucinations, headache, paranoia, cough, red eyes, increased sensitivity to sound and light and more. One other painkiller addiction symptom is that the patients tend to be very secretive about their usage of painkillers and they spend excessive amounts of money stocking up their painkillers. In other cases mood swings, isolation, insomnia and neglect of responsibilities and hygiene are also noticed as painkiller addiction symptoms.
Medical attention is mandatory for painkiller addiction treatment. It is strongly advised over the counter painkillers should not be taken for prolonged period of time. If the pain persists, a better remedy is to consult a doctor and specifically inform him/her about the painkillers that one has been taking without being prescribed to. This would give the doctor a complete picture and will not lead to a situation wherein one is again prescribed the same painkillers. Very often, the body may stop responding to the painkillers and some people arbitrarily increase the dosage. This should be totally avoided and an expert medical advice is strongly advised in these cases. The painkiller addiction treatment could be straightforward or complex depending on a number of factors. These include the duration of the addiction, the nature of the chemical that one is addicted to, and the physical condition of the patient.
As part of the painkiller addiction treatment it is very important that family members understand all about the addiction and its symptoms to help their loved once break the painkiller addiction. Usually the treatment is a long process which is accompanied with detox, medications and counseling. Often these painkiller addiction treatments include dealing with withdrawal symptoms too. Usually medications are prescribed to help cope with the withdrawal symptoms of painkiller addiction. Methadone is one such medication that is prescribed to painkiller addicts as part of their painkiller addiction treatment. Rapid detox programs are also suggested at times. Counseling also should be a huge part of painkiller addiction treatment as there are chances of relapses. Thus coupled with medication and maintenance therapy and counseling, individuals suffering from painkiller addiction can break free from this addiction and return to their normal lives. However maintenance therapy should be gradually reduces over the years for best results, else chances of relapse are high.