Painkiller abuse

Those who regularly take painkillers, not only combats the pain, but may even even call them out themselves. "Long-term use can lead to pain caused by the analgesic, " warns. Isabel Justus, Managing Director of the Apothekerkammer Bremen. A permanent pain therapy in the aisle can also cause life-threatening damage to health.

Painkillers: Long-term use problematic

"Many people want to be efficient at all times and do not think about the health consequences of the frequent intake of medication, " says Justus. The grasp on the painkiller is easier and faster for many than treating the pain with fresh air, drinking and relaxing or combating the cause. Long-term use often causes a so-called analgesic pain. Justus: "This is a pain that painkillers cause as a side effect from habituation." This is a chronic form of pain that is difficult to treat. "A vicious circle is created. The sufferer takes painkillers for the pain, which in turn causes new pain. "At this stage, one speaks already of a drug addiction.

Painkillers: Over-the-counter does not mean risk-free

Overall, the self-medication has increased in recent years, but especially the purchase of over-the-counter painkillers. "In order to counteract the abuse, analgesic drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), ibuprofen and paracetamol are only available in long-term-oriented pack sizes in the pharmacy, " says Justus. The active ingredients are a danger to health if used improperly. "The increased use of paracetamol can lead to severe liver damage." ASA is also used in low-dose form for the prophylaxis of patients with heart disease. In no case may the persons affected take ASA and ibuprofen together. "ASA is blood thinning and prevents the platelets from sticking together. Ibuprofen reverses exactly this effect, "explains the chamber manager. Cardiac patients should therefore inform the doctor and pharmacist that they are already being treated with ASA.

Maintain maximum dosage and duration of application

Permanent use of ASA in the atrial passage could damage the kidneys and stomach and lead to internal bleeding. The same side effects are to be expected in a long-term therapy with ibuprofen. Pregnant women should always consult a doctor before taking a painkiller. "During pregnancy, however, aspirin and ibuprofen are contraindicated, " says Justus. In addition, children should under no circumstances take ASA. "This can lead to the so-called Reye Syndrome, a life-threatening, untreatable syndrome that causes severe liver and brain damage." Painkillers should not be taken for more than three days in a row or ten times a month. "Patients who exceed the maximum permitted dosage and duration of use, in any case put their health at risk, " said Justus.

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