The global pain relief medication market is an $80 billion industry. According to Emergen Research, this market is expected to surpass the $119 billion mark in the next seven years. Thus, it goes to show just how demanding pain meds are these days.
Pain medications are commonly used to provide relief from various types of discomfort, from minor aches to chronic pain conditions. However, one must also exercise caution while consuming them.
Misusing or overusing pain medication can lead to serious health consequences, many of which might require professional medical attention. In some cases, overdosing on pain medication might even lead to death.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, deaths due to drug overdose in the US have increased dramatically over the past few years. Many of these cases involve pain meds, which is why exercising extreme caution is a must to avoid overdosing.
While general caution must be taken when consuming pain meds, some instances require you to exercise more caution than others, and in this article, we’ll shed light on those very instances.
#1 Prior Medical Conditions
If you’re someone with pre-existing medical conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before you take pain meds. Certain health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, asthma, or heart conditions, can interact negatively with certain pain medications.
In such situations, instead of helping you feel better, the pain medication might worsen the situation.
When you consult your doctor, they can recommend suitable pain relief alternatives that won’t affect your existing condition. They might also suggest special or specific pain meds that can work around your medical condition and relieve you from the pain.
#2 Concurrent Medications
It is essential to be aware of any other medications you are taking while considering pain relief. Pain medications might interact adversely with other drugs like blood thinners, antidepressants, or anticoagulants. Because of such interactions, the effectiveness of any or both types of drugs might be reduced.
In a worst-case scenario, you might have to deal with other severe side effects like vomiting, nausea, or even internal organ damage. Get in touch with your healthcare provider and seek their advice before you start consuming pain meds with other types of drugs.
#3 Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals need to exercise caution when taking pain medication. Certain pain medications can cross the placenta or transfer into breast milk, potentially harming the developing fetus or the nursing infant.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, should be used sparingly or avoided during pregnancy. Always consult your obstetrician or pediatrician to determine the safest pain relief options during these sensitive periods.
You should also be on the lookout for pain meds that have a track record of harming your child while you’re still pregnant. This is something people have been doing more often ever since the Tylenol autism lawsuit gained attention in the public eye.
According to the Tylenol lawsuit, Tylenol, which is a pain relief drug, has been found to increase the risk of children developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when consumed by a pregnant mother.
As explained by TorHoerman Law, manufacturers like CVS, Costco, Walgreens, etc., are under fire for their role in this Tylenol situation. It also goes to show how even the most popular pain meds can lead to the most adverse situations.
#4 Age Considerations
Age can significantly impact the way our bodies process medications. For older adults with reduced kidney or liver function, eliminating drugs from the body becomes very difficult. Besides, they are also more susceptible to the adverse effects of pain meds, like dizziness or confusion.
Therefore, older individuals should exercise caution and consult their healthcare provider for appropriate pain medication options and dosages that consider their age and health status.
#5 Allergies and Sensitivities
People with allergies and sensitivities should exercise caution when consuming pain medication due to the potential risks involved. Pain medications may trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause allergic responses such as hives, swelling, and even anaphylaxis. Pain medications often contain various additives, such as dyes, preservatives, or fillers, which can also be allergenic or cause adverse reactions.
Therefore, it is crucial for individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to consult with healthcare professionals before taking any pain medication to ensure their safety and avoid potential allergic reactions or adverse interactions.
As explained on Verywell Health, the best approach to consuming pain meds is by consulting your healthcare provider and fixing a dosage schedule before you start taking the meds. If not regularly, consult your doctor before you’re about to take pain medication so that they can tell you whether or not it will impact your health due to any pre-existing condition or other prescribed medication.
Also, keep the above-mentioned points in mind the next time you feel like taking pain medication. In doing so, you’ll save yourself the trouble of worsening any existing medical condition and dealing with any unwanted side effects.