Painless without risk – Everything you need to know about pain pills
Do you belong to those who avoid pain pills at all costs? Or do you kick start the day with a pill even if you are not in pain? There are risks with too little and too much - we explain why!
What can trigger a migraine attack? It's individual. Known triggers are red wine, chocolate, green cheese, and stress. Many women also get migraines during ovulation and menstruation. You can prevent a seizure by avoiding stress as much as possible. Often the migraine strikes when the worst stress was released, and you can relax. Regular habits for sleep, food, and exercise can help. You can also keep a diary when migraine attacks occur and think about what your life looked like the days before. With a little "detective work" you can perhaps see a pattern.
Acute pain, such as spinal cord, migraine and leg fractures, should preferably be treated immediately. Otherwise, there is a risk of a pain memory – a kind of shortcut for the pain signal from the body to the brain. Over time, this signal may become stronger and the pain chronic, research shows. Stopping the acute pain also reduces the risk of getting into a vicious cycle of recurring pain.
– You should not bite and hurt unnecessarily. Regular use of prescription pain pills for a short period is not dangerous or addictive, says MåBra doctor Gunilla Hasselgren.
Local pain gel
If you walk around with untreated pain, there is also the risk of being stretched, starting to limp and straining any other part of the body instead.
– You should not be afraid to take a pill in such situations. But you can also choose to treat the pain locally with an analgesic gel. It does not aggravate the stomach as much as some pain pills can do.
Because there are side effects even with prescription painkillers, and irritated stomach is just one example. Acetylsalicylic acid, which is found in Treo, and ibuprofen, can cause stomach ulcers at high doses. At the same time, the acetaminol in Alvedon and Panodil can harden the liver.
If you have been drinking alcohol, then you should avoid paracetamol. Some also get into the habit of starting the day with a breast pill against their tension headache.
– Often these are caffeine pain pills. They feel that they are spiked up in the same way as coffee. If you start the day with pills for several weeks, you can feel a kind of withdrawal then when you stop it, says Gunilla Hasselgren.
Prolonged and daily use of medicines for headaches can also eventually trigger headaches. The phenomenon is called a drug-triggered headache.
– But you do not become addicted to prescription painkillers in the same way as alcohol and drugs. However, you can feel something reminiscent of withdrawal when you stop them.
However, yne can become addicted to prescription painkillers, such as Tramadol and Citodon. They contain substances that are converted into morphine in the body.
– These drugs are sometimes needed. They are effective against pain in the case of hernias or if you have broken a bone. Doctors do not print them for fun, and if you are so bad that you can hardly get out of bed, you should dare to take them, says Gunilla Hasselgren.
Watch out for the dose
But she points out that they should always be taken for a limited period and under the supervision of a doctor. You should not take more than the doctor has prescribed, or mix them with other pain medicines.
Worried? Do you suspect that you eat pain pills too often, in too high doses, or perhaps unnecessarily?
– Keep a diary of when you are in pain, what you take for the pain, and how much. Then it is easier to see patterns.
– If you see that you are taking more pain pills than you need, you can turn to your health center. Sometimes you can find individual solutions and alternatives to the pills, physiotherapy is an example, says Gunilla Hasselgren.
It is not easy to know which medicine helps with what and if it has side effects. Because there are differences. Here is a concise guide to help you find the right prescription-free help!
Headaches and migraines
Most non-prescription pills are essentially equivalent, whether they contain acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen or paracetamol. Breast pills usually have a slightly faster effect. If you have tension headaches, caffeine pills can be useful. In migraine, naproxen or diclofenac is often recommended.
In particular, naproxen is recommended for menstrual cramps, but ibuprofen can also relieve it. The advantage of naproxen is that the effect lasts for about twelve hours, compared to six hours for ibuprofen.
Tooth and joint pain
Pain due to inflammation is better relieved by acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen than by paracetamol. When it comes to rigid, sore joints, nabumeton can be a good alternative because it is long-lasting.
Fever is the body’s way of fighting infections. If you have a mild or moderate fever, you usually do not need to take non-prescription pain pills, which are also fever-reducing. If you have a high fever in connection with, for example, the flu, you can take your usual pain medicine.