Painkillers as the cause of pain?

Medications with numerous side effects - painkillers as the cause of pain?

(09.09.2010) Many painkillers are available over the counter in Germany and are therefore frequently used. The risk of side effects is considerable, and preparations such as paracetamol, ASA or ibuprofen can in turn trigger chronic pain, especially if the dosage is too high. Therefore, doctors warn against careless use.

Germans often resort to over-the-counter preparations for relatively mild pain. The use of ASA, paracetamol or ibuprofen for the treatment of mild fever or mild pain is sometimes appropriate, however, the package insert should be studied beforehand because of possible side effects and a doctor should be consulted if necessary. Because for certain patients, taking medication is simply taboo. “Children should not be treated with ASA. Günther Egidi von der warns that older people, especially heart attack patients, should not consume ibuprofen, since they are (as a rule, permanently treated with ASA, which prevents the platelets from sticking together), but ibuprofen cancels the ASA effect German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine in Frankfurt. In addition, Gerhard Müller-Schwefe, President of the German Society for Pain Therapy, explains that "for patients with renal insufficiency, coagulation disorders, liver disorders or gastric protective function disorders (...) none of these drugs are (are) as suitable as for most patients over 60 years."

But even patients who do not belong to the above-mentioned groups of people should handle the use of over-the-counter pain relievers carefully, because over-the-counter does not mean, as is often assumed, no side effects. Ursula Sellerberg from the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations in Berlin once again explains the rule of thumb for the use of such preparations: "Even over-the-counter pain relievers must never be taken longer than three days in a row or ten times a month." On the one hand, the drugs mentioned can be used by themselves if they are used more often Trigger a headache, which most patients then try to fight with the same preparation. On the other hand, "all of these drugs (...) interfere with enzyme systems that the body needs for numerous regulating mechanisms, for example for the salt and fluid balance of the kidneys," emphasized Gerhard Müller-Schwefe from the German Society for Pain Therapy. The specialist referred to a study on inpatient admissions of patients, which came to the conclusion that "more than 20 percent of the cases (...) side effects of medication are the cause of the admission", with over-the-counter pain relievers being the most frequently mentioned.

Side effects of pain relievers.
Which side effects occur depends on the respective preparation. According to Günther Egidi, z. B. "Permanent intake of ASA (...) damage the stomach, paracetamol the liver and the kidney, iburofen the stomach and also the kidney." ASS was also suspected of forcing the bowel disease Crohn's disease. For example, according to the recommendation of the expert. In any case, patients with a sensitive stomach should not take ASA. According to Gerhard Müller-Schwefe, paracetamol has the cheapest effect-side-effect profile with small doses, but this only has a pain-relieving and not anti-inflammatory effect. .

The form in which the painkillers are administered is irrelevant with regard to the side effects. Tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets, juice or suppositories are available for selection and are equally suitable or unsuitable, with additives such as "with vitamin C" being completely negligible in relation to the effect of the preparations. Only the special characteristics and preferences of the patients are decisive for the dosage form. Günther Egidi also recommends that patients pay attention to the price when buying in a pharmacy and compare different manufacturers.

Alternative treatments for pain.
In the case of regularly recurring pain, a doctor should be consulted on the one hand and on the other hand the occurrence of the pain should be closely monitored in order to determine possible causes. The pain can then usually be reduced or eliminated as part of targeted therapy. Gerhard Müller-Schwefe recommends, for example, methods such as cold pads or peppermint oil on the temples for headaches, relaxation methods and acupuncture for tension headaches, bio-feedback procedures and a lot of movement against migraines, as well as drinking and calf wraps for fever, as alternative forms of treatment from naturopathy to painkillers. (fp)

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