Do you take painkillers regularly for neck or back pain? If so, this is a habit you might want to break as soon as possible. While these drugs provide much-needed temporary relief, there are some scary long-term side effects of painkillers that you probably don’t know about. Besides the fact that they’re addictive, prescription and over-the-counter painkillers can give you uncomfortable side effects like constipation and even worsened pain.
Keep reading to find out why painkillers can be a problem and what you can do instead.
Scary Side Effects of Painkillers
Many Americans rely on painkillers, which is why there’s such a huge opioid epidemic in this country. But people are also turning to over-the-counter drugs, which can be dangerous as well. Even though over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol are milder, they can have negative impacts on your health and you shouldn’t take them every day.
Here are five serious side effects of painkillers that you need to look out for:
If you’ve noticed that you’re having trouble going to the bathroom regularly, it could because of painkillers. Constipation is one of the most well-known side effects of opioids. It’s extremely uncomfortable and can cause other health problems. Not having regular bowel movements puts you at a higher risk of colon cancer.
2. Liver Damage
Liver damage mostly comes from acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol. It takes about 4,000 milligrams to cause toxicity in the body, which is about eight extra-strength Tylenols. If you’re taking this much per day, you should stop immediately and call a doctor.
Most people don’t consume that much acetaminophen, but lower dosages can cause problems if you mix the drug with alcohol or have a pre-existing liver condition.
3. Hormone Imbalance
Overloading on prescription painkillers can throw your hormones off balance, which will have a variety of negative side effects. Most notably, a hormone imbalance puts pregnant women at a higher risk of miscarriage. If you’re pregnant (or think you could be pregnant), you should take painkillers with caution and consult your doctor.
4. Stomach Damage and Ulcers
Your stomach can digest a lot of things, but you’re putting it through the test with some of the active ingredients in painkillers. Common painkillers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can wear your stomach’s lining. This can ultimately cause ulcers, which are extremely uncomfortable and can lead to permanent stomach damage.
It’s estimated that nearly 10 percent of people with opioid addiction experience some type of depression. Many painkillers also interact negatively with antidepressants and reduce their effectiveness.
Learn More about Managing Pain
Painkillers might seem like a necessary part of your routine. But the truth is, the side effects of painkillers might not be worth the risks they pose to your health. Plus, it’s best to treat the underlying cause of pain as soon as possible.
The doctors at the Davis Clinic of Chiropractic are here to help. Schedule an appointment with us today. We can help you treat the cause of your pain and reduce or eliminate the need for painkillers.