How many Painkillers to take?
Everyone should read the patient information leaflet that comes with their painkiller carefully. This will provide you the information about the dose that includes exactly how much to take and how frequently you can take it. You must take most over-the-counter painkillers every four to six hours. Some other medicines like cold and flu products contain painkillers such as paracetamol. You should take painkillers that contain codeine for a maximum of three days. Any medicine can be dangerous if you take it in excess. So, if you consume too much paracetamol that can cause serious liver damage, which can be life-threatening.
How do painkillers work?
Different types of painkillers work in different ways. Anti-inflammatory painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen stop your body from making chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are partly responsible for inflammation and causing pain in your body. The reduced prostaglandins can reduce inflammation and pain.
Opiate painkillers like codeine work by blocking pain messages in your brain and spinal cord. Paracetamol is known to reduce the production of prostaglandins in your brain and spinal cord but it does not reduce inflammation and can relieve pain and reduce a high temperature. There are some products available that contain more than one type of painkiller like aspirin, paracetamol, or ibuprofen can be combined with codeine.
Different types of Best Painkiller medicines
There are three main over-the-counter painkillers on the market but their chemical compositions, strengths, and side effects vary from each other.
Paracetamol: Paracetamol is commonly used to treat headaches and most non-nerve pains. It is unlikely to have serious side effects when taking the recommended dose but taking too much can be very dangerous. Always ensure you are not doubling up on your paracetamol dose. It is generally safe to take with other drugs but check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure, especially if you have any liver function problems.
Ibuprofen: A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug works better for pain associated with inflammation like injuries or joint pain. It should always be taken with food. If taken for long periods, it can cause side effects like stomach upset or bleeding, and kidney and heart problems. Generally, pregnant women should take paracetamol instead of ibuprofen.
Aspirin: It is less effective than ibuprofen, and it is thought to be more likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin medicine should not be given to children under 16 and it is best to take it with food.
For What Conditions, Painkillers are used
Generally, any disease as well as most injuries and surgical procedures involve some degree of pain. Painkillers are also known as analgesics, the most commonly used drugs are used depending on the type of pain. For minor complaints like headaches or muscle sprains, an over-the-counter pain reliever will usually do. Prescription pain relievers are normally reserved for moderate-to-severe pain like those seen after surgery, trauma, or from certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you are taking medicines with codeine in them then never drink alcohol or take sedatives because they can make you very drowsy and affect your breathing.