Dangers of Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication!

Dangers of Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication!
September 14 06:37 2023 by admin Print This Article

Pain medication must be taken only as per the doctor’s prescription, do you know why?

Normally just by examining a patient’s face, hands and body, the doctor can assess if his kidney, liver and other organs have been damaged by pain medication. Also, vide blood tests (clinical diagnosis) the doctor determines the side-effects and the damage caused to the kidneys, liver and stomach, due to pain killers and other medication that the patient takes.

Pain killers, also known as NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug), are often prescribed by doctors of all faculties. These are the drugs that are more often sold in pharmacies without the doctor’s prescription (Schedule-H).

People often listen to the advice of others and randomly pop in pills to alleviate pain. However under the Indian Drugs & Cosmetics Act (rules 65-97) these are classified as Schedule-H medicines and must be sold only against the doctor’s prescription.

Even the best pain killer medication must not be consumed randomly. Even for everyday small discomforts that arise due to an injury, fall, hand, leg and hip pain, sprain etc. it is better to consult a doctor rather than pop in a pain killer. Approximately 4 in 10 women (above the age of 30, 35) consult a doctor for unexplained pain. Depression, economic crises, relationship quarrels, and the fear of future are all thoughts that manifest itself as body pain (psychosomatic pain).

The quantity and dosage of pain killers are varied, the dosage could be 50 mg, 400 mg or 100mg, and varies with different medications. Also, pain killers could be prescribed to be taken alone, or along with paracetamol.

When pain killers are taken on an empty stomach without water, heart burn occurs due to damage of the oesophagus, stomach pain occurs due to damage of the stomach, and in case of heavy damage bleeding could also occur. Pain killers must not be taken more than the prescribed dosage, and several pain killers must not be combined together and consumed.

Pain killers could cause side-effects in all organs of the body. It is good if one can tolerate it and does not experience any side-effects, however if one cannot tolerate it, then side-effects can manifest in the liver, kidneys, lungs, oesophagus, blood and skin.

Pain killers are known to cause severe side-effects, like stomach pain, stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, skin allergy and shock that could be fatal and require immediate medical attention (anaphylactic shock).

Some may experience breathlessness, but do not worry, this is only experienced by those who cannot tolerate it. Therefore if you are allergic to a medication for the first time, it is important to note down its name and mention this to your doctor, pharmacist and hospital staff. It is wrong of the patient to be aware of the drug allergy and not mention it, and if the medication is given even after the patient mentions the drug allergy then it is wrong of the doctor. Regardless of who is at fault, if a medication that is not tolerated well is consumed again, the patient could face serious side-effects.

When pain killers are taken together with blood-pressure medication, the blood pressure lowering capacity of the medicine is affected. These two medicines should not be taken together.

Pain killers must never be administered to pregnant women. When pain killers are given to pregnant women in the first trimester, the new born may suffer cleft palate. Doctors are aware of this and will be careful. Only certain painkillers are recommended for children. Sometimes when elders are given painkillers which they had previously tolerated, they could experience swelling on the face and feet, which means that their kidneys and liver are damaged. It is important to inform this to the doctor as soon as possible, and avoid giving them this medicine.

People generally do not see the doctor again, once they are relieved of their pain. This causes some skin blisters to go unnoticed, which could later require surgery for removal. People take pain killers for chest pain and later on suffer heart attacks. Anything can occur, from skin allergies to organ failure, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Even if you are relieved of the pain after self-medication, it is important to consult a doctor and determine the reasons for the pain.

You will not need pain killers at all if you follow a proper diet, sleep and exercise!


NOTE: Take medications only when prescribed by your doctors, self-medication must be avoided under any circumstances.

Kauvery Hospital is globally known for its multidisciplinary services at all its Centers of Excellence, and for its comprehensive, Avant-Grade technology, especially in diagnostics and remedial care in heart diseases, transplantation, vascular and neurosciences medicine. Located in the heart of Trichy (Tennur, Royal Road and Alexandria Road (Cantonment), Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Tirunelveli and Bengaluru, the hospital also renders adult and pediatric trauma care.

Chennai – Alwarpet/Vadapalani 044 4000 6000 • Trichy – Cantonment – 0431 4077777 • Trichy – Heartcity – 0431 4003500 • Trichy – Tennur – 0431 4022555 • Hosur – 04344 272727 • Salem – 0427 2677777 • Tirunelveli – 0462 4006000 • Bengaluru – 080 6801 6801

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