Painkillers affect brain function

Proper use of pain medication

Before or after the meal?

In order for pain medication to work as quickly as possible, it is best to swallow your tablets before eating or with the first bite. Then the active ingredient reaches the intestine more quickly, where it is absorbed by the mucous membrane and transported into the bloodstream. If the stomach is full, the tablets float on top and it takes longer.

Can i overdose?

Pain patients should only take as many tablets as their doctor has ordered or the package insert recommends. Because the more active ingredient there is in the body, the stronger the side effects. This not only applies to opioids, but also to non-opioids such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and metamizole. Especially people who feel side effects even with small amounts need to be particularly careful.

Are there any interactions?

Older people in particular often take several medications at the same time. The risk of serious interactions is therefore particularly high with them. Which pain reliever is incompatible with which other drug is very different. The package insert provides information. If in doubt, the doctor or pharmacist will help.

The following applies: the stronger the drug, the more violent the interactions can be. Therefore, extra caution is required when taking opioids. Simultaneous use of herbal products or nutritional supplements can also have interactions.

Is it possible to drive a car?

According to the road traffic regulations, driving a car while taking pain medication is not generally prohibited. Depending on how much of which active substance is in the blood, tiredness and dizziness can endanger the ability to drive. These side effects mainly occur in the dosing phase or when the dose is increased. Especially with opioids, those suffering from pain should discuss with their doctor whether they can drive a car. If they take the remedies regularly throughout the day, this is rarely a problem.

How does alcohol affect?

The combination of alcohol and pain relievers is not recommended because alcohol changes the way the drugs are broken down and how they work. The liver damaging effects of non-opioids can be increased, and the alcohol worsens the influence of opioids on brain function. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and acetylsalicylic acid attack the stomach and intestinal mucous membranes. Alcohol can increase this effect and cause bleeding.