Effects of taking painkillers long term

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Analgesics an-al-gee-sics is the medical name for painkillers and they mean the same thing. You will probably be recommended non-opioid painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs first. It may be recommended that you take them at the same time. You may need other drugs alongside the ones described in this leaflet. They're often used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and other conditions that cause long-term pain.

Opioid painkillers can come as patches. See opioid painkilling patches for more information on these. Opioid medication can carry a risk of addiction.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

If you are worried, speak to your doctor. You should read the patient information leaflet that comes with all medication before taking them. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions or concerns. Paracetamol can also damage your liver if taken at high doses. The you can buy at any one time is limited because of this risk. Be aware that many other products also contain paracetamol, so you should include these in your daily totals.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

These include cold and flu medications, and compound painkillers. Paracetamol may not be suitable if you need long-term pain relief. Paracetamol must be used in lower doses than usual if you have kidney problems. It should also be used with caution if you have liver problems.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

You should only drink alcohol in moderation when taking paracetamol. Aspirin is used for mild or moderate pain.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

Some types can be bought over the counter from pharmacies and others are only available on prescription. Aspirin can cause problems with your stomach at higher doses. This is less likely with tablets you can dissolve in water, or ones that have an enteric coating. This is a special covering on tablets, so that the drug is not released until it has passed through your stomach. Ibuprofen eye-boo-pro-fen is commonly used and can help with pain and inflammation. It can be bought over the counter, without a prescription. Ibuprofen can interact with other medicines. This can increase your risk of side effects and stop your medication from working properly.

Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if it can be taken with ibuprofen. However, there are many more available over the counter or on prescription. You might be at a higher risk of side effects if you:. Speak to your doctor if you are worried about this, as they can assess your heart attack and stroke risk. Stronger and slow-release NSAIDs are available on prescription, which can be used for rheumatoid arthritis and other types of inflammatory arthritis.

Speak to your doctor if you need longer-term pain relief. Effects of taking painkillers long term of NSAIDs are also available as gels, creams, sprays or patches, which you apply to the affected area. Some of these, such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, are available over the counter.

Others, such as ketoprofen key-toe-pro-fen are only available on prescription.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

If you have osteoarthritisit is recommended that topical NSAIDs are tried before tablets, cox-2 inhibitors or opioid painkillers. This is because there is evidence that they are safer than taking tablets. Compound painkillers are made from a combination of two different drugs. These are usually a standard painkiller, such as paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofenplus a low dose of an opioid painkillers, such as codeine or dihydrocodeine. Some common compounds are listed in Table 2. Compound painkillers containing low doses of codeine are available over the counter from pharmacists.

Stronger ones are only available on prescription. Compound painkillers can be more effective than taking a single painkiller, and are more convenient than taking multiple tablets. However, they also combine the risks of each of the ingredients. Compound painkillers usually contain paracetamol or aspirin combined with an opioid. For information about the benefits and risks, please see the sections on each ingredient. This is because they are potentially addictive. If you take compound painkillers according to their instructions, it is unlikely that you will become addicted to them.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor if:. Opioid painkillers come in tablets, liquids or patches. You can only get strong opioid painkillers on prescription. It is illegal to have opioid painkillers unless they have been prescribed to you. Opioid painkillers can become addictive, so they should be used with caution. It is important to talk to your doctor if:. Opioid painkillers can cause more side effects than simple painkillers.

They are only available on prescription and need to be monitored by your doctor. This is to reduce the risk of you becoming addicted to them and other side effects. If you are using antidepressants or antipsychotics, be careful of taking tapentadol.

This is because your risk of seizures may be higher if you are being prescribed these drugs at the same time. Mixing any opioid painkillers with alcohol or tranquilisers means that having an overdose is more likely. This can cause a coma, breathing problems and in some cases, death.

People can build a tolerance to opioid painkillers. This means that you have to take more of them to get the same effect or avoid withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, they may not be suitable for treating long-term pain. Withdrawal symptoms are physical or psychological reactions that happen when you stop taking a drug that you are addicted to.

It is illegal in England and Wales to drive when taking prescription drugs if this Effects of taking painkillers long term your ability to drive. Some people need to take more than one type of painkiller at any one time.

If you need to do this, you Effects of taking painkillers long term to be aware of drug combinations that are safe and unsafe. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about the types of painkillers you have been advised to take. Many people with arthritis and related conditions will need to take painkillers or NSAIDs, along with drugs that treat the underlying cause of their condition. The combination you take will depend on your condition. For inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritisyour doctors should recommend disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs DMARDs.

These types of drugs change how your condition develops. If you have goutyou may need NSAIDs or colchicine coal-chuh-seen to deal with the pain and swelling from an attack. You may then need another drug, such as allopurinol al-oh-pure-ri-nol or febuxostat fe-bucks-oh-statin the longer term to reduce the risk of having more gout attacks. If you have pain as a result of nerve damage, or fibromyalgia fie-bruh-my-al-juh your doctor may suggest drugs such as amitriptyline am-ee-trip-ter-leengabapentin gab-a-pen-tin or pregabalin prey-gab-a-lin.

Although these are not classed as painkillers, they can be helpful for some types of pain. If you have osteoarthritis of the hand or kneetopical capsaicin cap-say-sin applied several times daily can be used alongside other painkillers. If you're taking any other medications speak to your doctor or a Effects of taking painkillers long term about possible interactions. Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist if you have any concerns. There may be a small increased risk of miscarriage if NSAIDs are taken around the time of conception.

You may therefore wish to avoid NSAIDs if you are trying Effects of taking painkillers long term conceive and during the first three months of your pregnancy. Low-dose aspirin may be continued during your pregnancy and is recommended if you have:. There is little evidence on the use of newer NSAIDs, called cox-2 inhibitors during pregnancy, so these should be avoided.

Paracetamol and opioid painkillers may be used during pregnancy, although it is recommended that you do not use them regularly or for long periods. Caution is advised with drugs containing codeine, as it could affect the nervous system of the unborn baby. Regularly taking high doses of opioid painkillers while pregnant in the lead up to birth can cause the baby to have withdrawal symptoms. If you do, it could increase your risk of premature labour or a miscarriage.

Paracetamol and aspirin can be taken while breastfeeding. Find out more about how arthritis symptoms may change with pregnancy and advice on taking medication. Opioid painkilling patches are used to treat some types of long-term pain. Learn more about how to use these patches and potential side effects. Print this. What types of painkillers are there? Most pain-relieving medications fall into one of the following groups: Non-opioid painkillers — this includes paracetamol. Some of these are available over the counter from pharmacies and supermarkets.

Other types need a prescription. Anti-inflammatory drugs — such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Some of these can be bought over the counter, and some need a prescription. Compound painkillers — this is when two different drugs are combined into one. An example is co-codamol, which combines paracetamol with codeine. Opioid painkillers — such as codeine, tramadol and morphine.

These are only available on prescription. What are analgesics? Non-opioid painkillers are the most common type of painkiller. Risks and side effects of paracetamol. Risks and side effects of aspirin. Ibuprofen can be bought in a: tablet capsule liquid spray gel cream. Risks and side effects of ibuprofen. These include: naproxen na-procks-en diclofenac die-clo-fe-nac mefenamic acid mef-uh-nam-ik ass-id indomethacin in-doe-meth-a-sin high-dose aspirin - low-dose aspirin isn't usually thought of as an NSAID.

These include: celecoxib sell-ee-cox-ib etoricoxib ee-torry-cox-ib NSAIDs may be sold under these names or a brand name. NSAID gels and creams.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

Compound painkillers. Risks and side effects of compound painkillers. Opioid painkillers. Opioid painkillers include: codeine co-deen dihydrocodeine die-high-dro-co-deen tramadol tram-a-doll buprenorphine byuu-pre-nor-feen fentanyl fen-ta-nil morphine more-feen oxycodone ox-ee-code-own tapentadol ta-pen-ta-doll Opioid painkillers come in tablets, liquids or patches.

Effects of taking painkillers long term

Risks and side effects of opioid painkillers. What painkillers can I take together? The following combinations are generally considered safe: aspirin with paracetamol NSAID such as ibuprofen with paracetamol aspirin with an opioid NSAID such as ibuprofen with an opioid paracetamol with an opioid. Fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Low-dose aspirin may be continued during your pregnancy and is recommended if you have: high blood pressure certain other long-term conditions - such as antiphospholipid syndrome for some people with lupus.

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Effects of taking painkillers long term

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