Exclusive: Painkillers: How They Work and Side Effects

Sunday 10 June 2018

There are many drugs that doctors prescribe for the multitude of ailments we suffer from. It is likely that every one of us have taken at least one of these drugs at some point in our lives. These are some common drugs:

1) Analgesic (painkillers / anti-inflammatory drugs)
2) Lipid regulators (statin)
3) Anti-diabetic drugs
4) Anti-depression drugs
5) Antibiotics
6) Steroids
7) All types of HBP pills (beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors, calcium-blockers and diuretics).

We are going to learn what are all these drugs used for, what are the common names, how do they work and what are the side-effects.

Analgesics / Painkillers

We take painkillers to get rid of the pain.
In what scenarios do doctors prescribe painkillers?
When a patient feels pain, has fever, has inflammation (from "itis" diseases e.g. gastritis, hepatitis, colitis etc and from breakage of bones) or when the blood viscosity is high (certain blood thinners are also painkillers - called antithrombosis).

Why does our body feel pain?

It all starts from our cells - everyone has around 63 trillion cells.
These cells can get injured, inflamed, infected and eventually die. If you have a wound and it bleeds, even if you ignore it, the wound will heal by itself (provided you're not a diabetes patient or have haemophilia). This is the body's innate self-healing ability.

Pain a natural chemical reaction / response of the body. It is the electrical signal being transmitted from the nerves to the brain. Essentially, whenever your cells are wounded / damaged, the COX-2 enzyme will quickly respond to the damaged cells by releasing prostaglandins hormones which will send a message through your central nervous system to your brain to give you a pain feeling. This is done so your brain can be quickly informed that a part of your body is injured. From there, the healing process will start.


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