What every woman should know about pain killers

By:Vasudha Bhat, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Jul 01, 2015

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The large variety of over-the-counter painkillers available to users can sometimes lead to bad decisions. One must therefore, know everything about them to avoid health hazards.
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    The myriad variety of over-the-counter painkillers in a drug store can leave you confused. The flurry of indecisiveness when you pick a painkiller can lead to unhealthy and wrong decisions. So, to help you cut the confusion, here are some basics about painkillers you must know.

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    Types of painkillers

    Mostly all over-the-counter painkillers are categorized into three types: Non-opioid, NSAIDS and mild opioids. Using a non-opiod or opiod at the same time as NSAID is considered to be safe.

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    Why use them?

    Over-the-counter painkillers can be purchased from a pharmacist without a doctor prescription. Their dosage is meant to give moderate relief from pain and can be used to treat a variety of common aches and pains.

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    How do they work?

    A part of your body’s defence system known as prostaglandins is found in painkillers. When these chemicals detect inflammation or damage to the body, they send pain signals to the brain. NSAIDS work by prohibiting production of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which helps to produce prostaglandins.

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    How to use painkillers?

    The best part about painkillers is that they come in various forms, designed in ways that almost everyone can comfortably use. Their availability in different shapes, sizes and forms makes their use simpler.

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    Only because they are available over-the-counter does not mean you can keep popping painkillers every now-and-then. There are side-effects of over-consumption and you must know about them. The primary ingredient in paracetamol and other cold relief medications is acetaminophen, which is known to cause damage to liver.

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    There are no side-effects of over-the-counter painkillers if you consume them occasionally. However, use of certain NSAIDs for a prolonged time can have damaging effects on your stomach, causing nausea, vomiting, pain, indigestion and diarrhea.

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    Reading ingredients

    It is highly likely that the drugs you consume to fight other symptoms can contain painkillers as one of its ingredients. You need to thus, read the ingredients before buying your medication. You must be sure that you are not over-dosing.

    Image source: Getty Images

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