Are you one of those who take painkillers now and then? Here’s how they affect your heart, kidneys, and brain.
PainkillersPopping painkillers are the new norm among people. Whether it’s your end-of-the-day headache, post-workout body pain, or minor sprain discomfort, the first thing you do is reach out to a painkiller like ibuprofen. We all are aware that drugs have side effects, some of which are evident within a few hours of taking the drug. But very few of you might know that if you misuse those drugs, they can turn poisonous and have life-threatening consequences. Here are 6 effects that you should know about the long-term use of painkillers on your body.
1. Can increase the spread of common cold and flu:
Cold and flu is a common problem for which people take painkillers. But next time you think of taking a pill, give it another thought.
Here’s why: A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B showed that the use of painkillers to curb flu fever could in turn worsen the condition for everybody else. The study, with the help of a mathematical model, proposed that painkillers might instead be increasing the transmission of flu by up to 5 percent.
2. Worsens headache:
According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) people who take painkillers like paracetamol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for relieving headache (for more than 15 days in a month) are in reality the victims of overuse of drugs. Such people end up having a more severe headache as time passes.
3. Increases the risk of heart attack and stroke:
A study by researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital, Demark showed that Ibuprofen can increase the risk of early death in patients who have survived a heart attack. Study participants who had taken at least one NSAID medication within a year of suffering a heart attack were almost 59 percent more likely to die of subsequent heart attack or stroke than participants who did not take them.
4. Leads to depression:
Depression is a term that you generally associate with prolonged sadness and probably chronic stress. But you never know, taking a painkiller could be the reason behind your depression. Researchers have found that people using pain relievers like opioid analgesics for a prolonged period are more likely to develop depression. Study participants who were taking opioids for more than 80 days had a 53 percent higher risk of suffering from a new phase of depression.
5. Causes kidney damage:
Every drug you take is ultimately released into the bloodstream and finally eliminated after getting filtered from the kidneys. During the process of filtration, a drug can either interfere with the flow of blood to the kidneys, can cause an allergic reaction, or can even cause direct injury to the kidney nephrons. According to a study, over-the-counter and prescription medications lead to about 20 percent of cases of acute kidney failure.
6. Can lead to addiction:
Drug addiction is a big issue worldwide and it’s common to hear about substance abuse, marijuana abuse, etc. But misuse of painkillers is alarming in the U.S., especially among teenagers. Addiction to prescription medications is can lead to death and even doctors warn that painkiller abuse is one of the most difficult drug addictions to treat.
So, the best way to avoid addiction and other negative effects of painkillers on the body is to stop using them indiscriminately.
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