We have heard about the consequences of pain killer overdose. We have also been told about the side effects of most over-the-counter pain killers such as liver damage, stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding.
There are, however, a number of other dangers we should look out for when dealing with over-the-counter and even prescription pain killers. These are common incidents or details which we tend to overlook since they appear harmless. We do not realize that these small oversights may, in fact, cause great harm.
It is not advisable to keep left over pain killers in our homes especially if they were prescribed specifically for a particular type of symptom or pain. By throwing out these excess pain killers, we will be able to avoid at least two potential dangers. First, it will prevent us and other persons from unintentionally taking expired drugs. How many of us have expired medication in our medicine cabinets or drawers? We are sometimes unmindful of keeping drugs which have expired. Taking expired pain killers, or any medication for that matter, will have adverse effects and will cause harm to our bodies. Second, most of us think that all pain killers are the same. If we see any available pain killer lying around, we don’t think twice before taking it even if we do not know if it is intended to address the same type of pain.
Another thing that we should also try to avoid is comparing and sharing symptoms and medications with friends and relatives. Sometimes, we actually think that it is alright to use pain killers that are prescribed for other persons, thinking that if a certain pain medication made the other person well, then there is no reason why it should not have same effect on us. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Prescribed medication is always suited for a particular person and what works on one person may not work or may even be harmful to another. Worse, some of us are guilty of suggesting to friends and relatives to take medication that once worked well for us. A person might experience the same pain or symptoms that you may have experienced before but it does not mean that you can lend him the prescription medication that was given by the doctor to treat your ailment. Doing so might cause more harm than good to your friend or relative.
Temporary relief from pain is not an assurance that we are taking the right pain killer.
It is always best to visit a pain management clinic or to seek advice from a pain management specialist so that we can obtain the right treatment and will be guided accordingly especially if we are taking other types of medication. If a visit to a pain management doctor is not possible, talking to your pharmacist may shed light on possible interactions between your current medications and your over-the-counter pain killer.