Have you been prescribed painkillers and feel off? What are the side effects of painkillers? We’ve got the breakdown you’re looking for in this article.

Pain is an ongoing issue for thousands of people—old and young. As a matter of fact, doctors write more than 240 million prescriptions for painkillers every year.

Taking aid for pain doesn’t come without consequences. Before you take that pill, find out what are the side effects of painkillers.

Pain relievers do more than give you a break from chronic discomfort. For many people, it gives them back their quality of life. Living with agonizing aches affects the way you perform every day. But opioid prescriptions like oxycodone and morphine help you find your way back.

Plus, not everyone becomes an addict.

If you’re wondering what are the side effects of painkillers, you need to read this. We’ve got the breakdown you’ve been looking for in this article.

What Are Painkillers?

The nervous system has the responsibility of transmitting pain signals to the brain. When you injure a part on the body, signals from the injured area travel into the spinal cord via dorsal roots.

With the help of neurons and the spinothalamic tract, the signal makes its way to the brain center. Painkillers interrupt this process. They interfere with how the nervous system transmits pain and stimulates parts of the brain that induce pleasure.

Pain gets blocked and the end result is a false feeling of a natural high.

Common Types of Painkillers

There are different types of pain relievers. They breakdown into two common categories of painkillers—over-the-counter and prescription meds.

Prescription Medications 

Medical doctors prescribe painkillers to people who can’t bear the discomfort of pain without help. Most prescription medicines include non-opioid and opioid medication.


Usual types of opioid meds include:

  • Oxycodone  helps with mild to severe pain
  • Hydrocodone – combines with acetaminophen to help with moderate pain
  • Codeine – helps with different levels of pain, but also includes acetaminophen in some cases
  • Morphine – used after surgical procedures

Reputable doctors prescribe these meds for a period of time then reassess for lower dosages.

Over-the-Counter Medications

For minor, aggravating pain, OTCs are the usual go-to. OTC stands for over-the-counter—basic pain meds you can buy without a prescription.

These are pain relievers for aches like sore throat, cramps, head, and toothaches. OTCs come in two forms—NSAIDs and acetaminophens.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are aspirins, ibuprofens, and meds for colds and sinus issues. They treat in significant pain and fevers. Acetaminophens act in meds that help with a cough suppressant and common colds.

Here’s a good resource for learning more about the strongest painkillers.

What Are the Side Effects of Painkillers

People misuse painkillers and get hooked. The end result is side effects that have permanent consequences, sometimes early death.

Complications and side effects of painkillers include:

  • Continual Drowsiness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty Breathing Normal
  • Itching
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Death

Children and seniors experience the side effects of painkillers the most. Always take prescriptions as instructed by a doctor or as instructed on the label.

Be Responsible With Your Meds

Knowing what are the side effects of painkillers can save your health and your life. Get help with pain but be responsible as well.

Find out more ways to protect your health. Read our health guide and start making changes to upgrade your quality of life.

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