Many people who take prescription drugs think that they are both safe and effective. While a prescribed drug should be safe when taken as directed, that does not mean that prescription drugs are automatically safe. Every substance has its risks, although this is not well-known. And needless to mention, some people believe that just because certain medicines are used to provide treatment, they are safe even for recreational purposes. Here’s a list of medications that can actually cause harm.
Opioid Pain Relievers
When opioids began to see widespread use, they were seen as a godsend. Certainly, they helped with pain, especially chronic pain, but their side effects were numerous. One of the biggest dangers of an opioid is that it is an addictive substance. Unlike other medications which may be easy to start and stop, you can become addicted to a pain reliever, even when taken as directed. This is why it’s always important to follow the dosage and discuss how you plan to stop taking this medication with your physician.
Many people who have suffered from chronic pain and then become addicted to opioids, seek out suboxone treatment, which can help to treat pain as well as relieve their addiction. However, it’s always best to avoid the addiction entirely if possible.
Narcotic Pain Relievers
Similar to opioids, narcotics also come with risks. The reason why they can lead to problems is that they can cause hypoxia. This is a condition where the brain receives an inadequate supply of oxygen. Narcotics work with decreasing the number of respirations which then decreases the oxygen supplied to the brain. Hypoxia can have negative effects both short and long-term. Since this can cause brain damage, it’s best to avoid or limit their use.
Another risk associated with narcotics is their effect on bowel function. Most people understand that narcotics cause constipation, even after one dosage. If people take narcotics on a regular basis, it’s likely that they will have to rely on laxatives in order to have normal bowel movements. Even with this assistance, it may still be possible to have anal fissures. Since the digestive effects of narcotics are severe, they should be taken with caution.
Acetaminophen Containing Medications
Many medications, both prescription and over the counter contain the medication acetaminophen. You may even have it in your medicine cabinet right now. The liver does the work on processing drugs that enter the body. This means that the higher the dosage, the more your liver has to work. Some drugs, especially painkillers, are combined with acetaminophen. While this increases its effectiveness, it can also be damaging to your liver. For example, hydrocodone is a prescription medication that contains 325 mg acetaminophen. With regular use, this can lead to liver damage. If you are on a medication that contains this compound, you may want to consider taking it only short-term or changing to a different medication.
Although these medications can be remarkably effective when prescribed and taken correctly, they are not without their risks. It’s important to recognize that all medications have some inherent dangers. If you have any concerns about medications, always discuss them with your physician before taking. In some cases, there may be a better medication or a different one that has fewer side effects.