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Painkillers – What Are They?

Painkillers are also known as Analgesics. Painkillers are safe to use under a doctor’s supervision. Most of us are very familiar with the word “Painkiller” and might have used it a million times in our day-to-day life. But have we ever tried to find out more about it? “What is a painkiller and what does it contain?” “Are all painkillers the same?” A few of us might have faced the same questions. Read on to find out more about painkillers.

A drug which is used to relieve pain is known as a painkiller. There are different kinds of painkillers that are used to treat different types of pains. Depending on the severity of the pain, different painkillers may be prescribed. A few examples are:

  • Morphine – It is an active ingredient of opium and is very powerful. It is also used as a sedative.
  • Hydrocodone – It is an effective painkiller when combined with acetaminophen.
  • Oxycodone – It is a narcotic painkiller.
  • Codeine – It is also derived from opium. It is best used as a painkiller unlike morphine which is used as a painkiller and a sedative.

How do they work?
Painkillers provide relief by blocking the pain signals sent to the brain. Painkillers also interfere with the brain’s interpretation of the pain signals. Mild pain can be treated by simple painkillers like paracetamol. Moderate pain can be treated by opioid painkillers like codeine. Severe pain can be treated by morphine.

Side-effects
It is very important to take the right dosage of painkillers as prescribed by your doctor. Self-medication can be fatal and must be avoided. A few people may also experience side-effects caused by using painkillers. A few common side-effects are:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sudden decrease in the blood pressure and
  • Urinary retention

Precautions
Abusing painkillers can lead to long-term health complications and may prove fatal.
Always consult your doctor before using any painkiller.
Painkillers must be used in the right dosage and at intervals as prescribed by the doctor.
Long term dependence on painkillers must be avoided.

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