Pill-poppers beware

August 2, 2011

by Karin Mosselson

Take a moment to think about the last time you had physical pain. Perhaps it was at the end of a maddening work day filled with meetings, demanding clients and colleagues. Maybe it was after your six-month-old decided that she didn’t want the mixed veg for lunch and voiced her disgust loudly and unrelentingly; or it might even have been when you tripped down the stairs and wrenched your ankle. The chances are that you popped two painkillers or anti-inflammatories and waited for them to do their work.

While this isolated usage is unlikely to cause long-lasting damage if you are healthy, for many people who are susceptible to dangerous side-effects of certain medications, or who have not fully disclosed their medical history to a qualified health professional, these drugs can be extremely harmful indeed.

The safety of medicines such as analgesics (painkillers) and anti-inflammatories is particularly topical, due to the recent decision by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) to cancel the registration of all medicines containing the pain-relieving chemical dextropropoxyphene (Synap Forte, Lentogesic and Doxyfene). This decision has left some medical practitioners concerned for patient welfare, as well as what to prescribe for this kind of pain management, particularly because this type of analgesic has, up to now, been so commonly prescribed in South Africa.

As an engaged and educated individual, what is your role in ensuring that you are aware of the interactions of all the medicines you take? How do you ensure that you know your medical risk profile and what you can and cannot take to treat pain? And is this really up to you, or the doctor who treats you?

Published in ~uLongevitymag.co.za#longevitymag.co.za/a_health/pill-poppers-beware/~

Read more
– What does ‘scheduling’ mean and how does it relate to medicine safety?
– What, then, is a ‘safe’ medicine?
– Save your heart by using your head
– What about prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs)?
– Conclusion
– The vitamin and supplement controversy

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