Stop Abuse Of Pain-Killers

The current practices where people from all walks of life have resorted to the chronic and indiscriminate use of analgesics (drugs that relieved pain) for all manner of conditions, whether or not there is pain, is alarming. I believe it is time for people to be educated on the long-time health hazard associated with this behaviour. While it is an undeniable fact that the sensation of pain is a truly subjective one, with its intensity only being described by the person experiencing it, I am of the opinion that resort to analgesics, especially in the case of individual self-medicating , must be curtailed. I get the opportunity to interact with a number of people while going about my work as a pharmacist, and I have come to the conclusion that aside people knowing the names and primary function of many analgesics, be it over-the-counter or prescription-only, not many of them consider the cautions, contraindications, side effects and, in less common instances, their status (of either being pregnant or breastfeeding mothers) associated with their use. Currently, there are many compound analgesic preparations on the market whose individual ingredients many people are obvious to. The popular aspirin-paracetamol caffeine preparations due to the presence of aspirin are not to be used by individuals who are hypersensitive to it, particularly asthmatics, due to the risk of broncho-constriction and its attendant breathing difficulties. Similarly, aspirin-containing products are not to be given to children under the age of 16 for treatment of fever, especially during viral infections (chicken pox or flu), unless specifically indicated due to its association with Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is characterized by fatty infiltration of the liver and organ-producing-liver-function problems, vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness and progressive brain damage. However, I have had situations where people requesting these drugs were either feverish kids. I recommend that people seek professional opinion from a pharmacist or doctor when in pain so as to be informed on various non-drug measures that they can use to become pain-free. In situation where drug therapy cannot be avoided , they should be given advice on medications that would provide them the best benefit, taking into considerations their prevailing ailments and general well-being.