Prescription-free painkillers like ibux and paracet
Improper use of prescription-free painkillers can cause liver failure, renal failure, heart failure and, worst of all, death.
Rarely in Norway, more often abroad, people die of paracetamol overdoses.
– It’s a slow and painful poisoning process, warns department chief at the Norwegian Medicines Agency Steinar Madsen.
Maybe one unlucky Norwegians die this year.
Women are big consumers
Long-term, high usage, on the other hand, is a lot more common – and can cause liver damage.
Every fifth case of tablet poisoning is due to paracetamol in prescription-free form – and 76 percent of poisoned are women.
FTE young women, showing the statistics.
In the worst case and very often the injuries become prolonged – perhaps chronic.
– Easy to avoid overdose
– But it’s very easy to avoid overuse, says Steinar Madsen.
– Just remember that the usual tablets contain 0.5 grams of active ingredient and that 3 grams or six tablets are maximal daily dose. Continuous use for more than seven days should be avoided, he says.
In the past 20 years there has been a steady increase in the use of prescription-free painkillers. In particular, the use of paracetamol and ibuprofen products has increased dramatically.
– It’s important to remember that anything that has an effect also has a side effect, Madsen emphasizes.
The increase is due, for example, to the withdrawal of the prescription Vioxx preparation, which held muscular and chronic inflammation, from the market due to side effects.
– Paracet or Ibux can be a good alternative, says Madsen, who believes that most Norwegians follow the instructions for non-prescription medicines.
How many people use the medicines wrongly, you can not make sure of numbers.
Serious liver damage
Paracetamol, found in Panodil, Paracet, Pamol and Pinex, is the most common remedy for fever and pain. Taken in the prescribed manner, it is a drug with few side effects; For example, you can breastfeed – and also drive a car – with prescribed amounts of paracetamol inboard.
But overdosage can cause serious liver damage – in the worst case of fatal outcome. Then it’s about running 20 tablets (10 grams) or more at once.
There is antidote
If it’s out of doors, it does not help to put your finger in your throat or try to neutralize with milk – at least if time has elapsed.
The 7 active substances
These seven active substances are left in a number of non-prescription preparations:
Acetylsalicylic acid: In addition to acting against pain and fever, this preparation is also blood thinning. Available in Dispril, Albyl E, Novid, Aspirin, Bamycor, Globentyl and Globoid.. Do not use if you have active stomach ulcer, or asthma and allergy or when you are on anticoagulants.
Paracetamol: Available in Panodil, Paracet, Paracetamol, Pamol and Pinex. Should not be used in liver inflammation and mononucleosis (kiss sickness) because this may also lead to mild liver inflammation.
Ibuprofen: Belongs to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) together with naproxen, diclofenac and ketoprofen – and fever-depressant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Available in Ibux, Ibumetin, Brufen, Ibuprofen and Ibuprox. Increases the risk of bleeding in the stomach, as well as the risk of acute renal failure, headache, fatigue, insomnia, discomfort.
Naproxen: Prescription-free packs should only be used for menstrual pain. Available in Naphran, Naphena – E, Naprosyn, Ledox and Naproxen. May cause increased risk of bleeding in the stomach and kidney failure, should be used with caution in cardiovascular disease.
Diclofenac: Active anti-inflammatory and analgesic, used in rheumatic diseases. Available without prescription in Voltarol. Gives increased risk of nausea and sore throat, stomach ulcers, headache, dizziness, blood pressure increase, difficulty breathing.
Ketoprofen: Effects anti-inflammatory and analgesic. is available as a Zone – a gel that can be lubricated on the skin to relieve pain after superficial shock and stroke. The gel may cause rash and eczema, as well as light sensitivity reactions.
Fenazonkoffein: Works against pain, but is no longer considered the best option. Caffeine and Fenazon may cause headache, nausea, discomfort, insomnia, frequent urination, increased stomach acid production, increased risk of allergic reactions, kidney complications.
The active substance is quickly absorbed into the stomach and goes straight into the bloodstream. Anyone who has taken an overdose of paracetamol should contact a doctor or hospital immediately. There are antidotes that can prevent liver injury.
If you do not get an antidote, the liver can be seriously injured in less than two days.
Headache of headache tablets
How strange it sounds, you can have a throbbing headache of headache tablets if you use them long and often enough.
– Headache due to drug overuse can also be recurrent and chronic – and it can lead to addiction to pain medications, Madsen points out.
Also read: Avoid medication bumps
– If you rely on using a medication regularly, talk to your doctor. Then the prescription-free solution may not be good enough. Then you may need to switch to more specific and prescription medication, explains the department surgeon.
– Check the strength
Together we can buy a variety of brands in the store that together contain the active substances paracetamol, ibuprofen, phenazone, acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac, ketoprofen and naproxen – and we also buy the drugs in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets, suppositories and jelly.
Drugs purchased at pharmacies in Europe are basically safe if used as recommended, but Madsen still recommends the use of products with a higher degree of strength.
Watch out for Ibux
Ibuprofen – the active substance in Ibux has effects other than paracetamol. Prescription-free Ibux can, for example, cause stomach aches and stomach bleeding, but also headache and tiredness if you use it regularly for a long time.
In addition, women should avoid ibuprofen products if they are trying to become pregnant. Ibuprofen may reduce the risk of pregnancy. Ibuprofen should not be used in the last three months of pregnancy. The same applies to the active substance naproxen.
No cure for hangover
If you have hangover, stay away from painkillers containing acetylsalicylic acid.
At worst, it may lead to gastric ulcer or gastric haemorrhage.
Also read: Warning against painkillers then
There has been a completely new pain reliever in the non-prescription family – Voltarol against muscle and joint pain, containing the active substance diklofenac.
– The use of large doses of diclofenac over a longer period of time can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, warns Steinar Madsen.
EMERGENCY HELP: If you have had too many doses of pain relievers and / or fear of harm, contact the GIFT INFORMATION CENTER immediately, tel.. 22 59 13 00 (24 hours a day).
NB Blood thinning
Many patients with heart disease use a small dose of acetylsalicylic acid to thin the blood. This should also not be combined with ibuprofen products as this mixture can actually counteract the blood diluting effect of acetylsalicylic acid.
– Anyone who uses blood thinning agents such as Albyl E or Marevan should talk to the doctor to advise on the prescription-free medicines they can use, “says Madsen..