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Dangers of Common Painkiller Medication

Published : 2012-02-06 - Updated : 2019-03-07
Author : Side Effects Hub - Contact:

Synopsis* : Learning about some of the dangers of common painkillers can serve as a preventative measure to help keep the people that need them safe.

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What Are Painkillers?

Painkillers are powerful drugs that interfere with the body's nervous system transmission of the signals we perceive as pain. When part of your body is injured, special nerve endings send pain messages back to your brain. Painkilling drugs interfere with these messages, either at the site of the injury, in the spinal cord or in the brain itself. Most painkillers also stimulate portions of the brain associated with pleasure, and are based on naturally occurring drugs: aspirin and opiates. There are three main types of painkiller: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), paracetamol and opioids.

Prescription and over the counter painkillers are found in relatively every household and they are used for a variety of ailments and injuries. However, despite the widespread popularity of many painkillers, they also come with a variety of dangers. Learning about some of the dangers of common painkillers can serve as a preventative measure to help keep the people that need them safe.

Drug Interactions

Many problems can occur when a patient takes a painkiller with another medication and has an adverse reaction. For example, when using certain antidepressants, medicines for cardiac issues, or antibiotics, patients should not take methadone. Methadone is used to treat moderate to severe pain in patients, but a combination of this drug with others can prove fatal.

In order to prevent these types of dangerous interactions, it is recommended that patients use one pharmacy for all of their medications in order for the pharmacist to track possible problems.

Side Effects

The only common painkiller that is relatively free of side effects is acetaminophen, which is found in medications like Tylenol and others. Other medications can cause side effects including drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and even pain.

Research has also shown that these painkillers can cause cardiovascular complications and slow down the heart rate. Strokes and blood clots have also been experienced.

The consumption of common pain killers has been linked to mental side effects, including confusion, hallucinations, and nightmares.

Dosage Information

Dangers from common painkillers also arise when patients do not use them as prescribed and do not follow the dosage information.

In order to prevent these dangers, patients should take the recommended dosage and strength, and if they have questions about these issues, they should consult with their doctor or pharmacist.

If a patient feels that their medication is not working, they should consult with their doctor rather than taking more than the recommended dosage.

Improper Usage

Dangers from common painkillers also arise when patients do not determine if their drug is short or long acting.

Long-acting painkillers such as morphine, methadone, and the fentanyl transdermal patch will have different instructions than short-acting painkillers.

Improper usage also occurs when individuals take a painkiller that was prescribed to another person. A painkiller that was prescribed to one person may not be safe for another individual due to health issues, so it is never safe for a patient to take a painkiller that was not prescribed for them.


When used properly, painkillers can provide a sense of relief to patients, but abuse can cause dependency. The abuse of painkillers can have many adverse reactions on the health of a patient.

Painkillers can quickly cause tolerance to occur in patients, and this causes patients to feel that they need to take higher dosages in order to get the same effect.

Patients can also develop a psychological tolerance in addition to a physical tolerance, and this is one of the key problems that contribute to addiction or dependency.


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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Side Effects Hub. Electronic Publication Date: 2012-02-06 - Revised: 2019-03-07. Title: Dangers of Common Painkiller Medication, Source: <a href=>Dangers of Common Painkiller Medication</a>. Retrieved 2021-05-09, from - Reference: DW#274-8844.