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Przegl Lek. 2012;69(8):561-4.

[Toxicity of analgesics in the family doctor practice].

[Article in Polish]

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Instytut Medycyny Wsi, Lublin.


Analgesic usage without any consultation with a physician is very common in Poland. It increases the risk of occurrence of the harmful effect or harmful interaction with other medicaments taken by the patient. The abuse of painkillers applies not only to opioid but also to nonopioid analgesics. The largest group of commonly available medicaments are NSAIDs. The most frequent undesirable effect of NSAIDs' is dyspepsia. Among the most dangerous, and very often the ones without any symptoms, are gastric and duodenum ulceration for which the bleeding and perforation may be the first manifestation. Each non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug taken in large doses can be a cause of analgesic nephropathy. Its deceitful course can delay the diagnosis leading to chronic kidney failure. A complex supplements, that include central acting substances, increase the risk of kidney damage, as well as physical and psychological addiction. NSAIDs can cause: the heart failure to be more severe, treatment resistant arterial hypertension, increase an effectiveness of anticoagulants or antidiabetic drugs. The problem is also that some medicaments are available without a prescription (acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), especially that they are ingredients of many complex supplements considered safe. Taking doses larger than therapeutic or simultaneously taking many supplements of the same active substance had many times led to poisoning and even death. Equally dangerous can be an abuse of tramadol, codeine and COX-2 inhibitors. Therefore, prudential prescription of NSAIDs, knowledge of risks related to therapy and informing the patients about their side effects, may decrease the number of patients abusing the analgesics which can lead to lowering the number of deaths caused by serious complications.

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