There are many kinds of painkillers. Aspirin, Tylenol, and nonsteroidal
medications are non-habit-forming analgesics. Narcotics, and most muscle
spasm drugs, are potentially addictive.
Many are worried about a worldwide increase in the use of painkillers.
Research shows that eighty percent of American adults take analgesics
regularly. In addition, United States doctors write 312 million pain
medication prescriptions a year, one for every man, woman, and child. The
increase in the use of analgesics may be related to a greater awareness of
pain treatment options, liberal prescribing standards by physicians, or
increased advertising by drug companies.
Even non-addictive analgesics can cause health problems. Tylenol, an
ingredient in many over-the-counter products, can cause liver disease.
Non-steroidals can damage the stomach and kidneys. They can interfere with
clotting. The risks are, however, minimal if the medications are used only
according to their instructions.
Narcotics, and other prescription medications, often provide the best
relief, even though there are some risks. Addiction is rare if the
medications are used only for pain and taken according to the
instructions. When the pain is gone, most patients simply stop using the
Common sense rules should apply to the use of all medications. Donít
use any drug unless absolutely necessary. Use the least amount possible.
Follow the instructions. Make sure you understand the risks.