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What Are The Side Effects Of Painkillers On Your Body?

When you are prescribed pain medications by your doctor, it’s natural to trust that they have offered you the best solution to your pain. You should also have been told how addictive prescription pain medication can be, and the effects that it can have on your body. Prescription pain medication isn’t a simple pill to take to get rid of a headache; they are powerful drugs that are a relief to those in a lot of pain. As these are short-term medications, it’s important to follow the advice given by your doctor and stop at the end of the prescription. The effects on the body are not worth continued or unmonitored use, but it’s also good to know the side effects of painkillers even when you are safely and properly using them.

Short Term Effects On The Body

When you take prescription pain medications, they work to bind to pain receptors and block the pain. They also have other effects, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing

Taking prescription medications is something that has to be done carefully and under supervision, and absolutely no alcohol is allowed! Taking alcohol with prescription medication can kill you or lead to a coma – it’s not worth the risk!

Long Term Side Effects of Painkillers

Using prescription medications over time can be dangerous and can lead to an increased risk of addiction and overdose. The body adjusts to opioids over time, but this isn’t a good thing. Your body adjusting means that you end up feeling like you need more of them, and this can lead to addiction that creeps up on you before you even know it’s happening. If you continue to use prescription pain medication beyond the time you’re told to use it, more persistent health concerns can arise. Longer-term, the body doesn’t respond well to opioids, and here are some of the ways that the body can be affected:

  • Opioids being overused can affect the blood, making the veins collapse and increasing the risk of diseases like HIV.
  • Hepatitis in the liver is very common. When you are misusing prescription drugs, you can end up sharing infected needles.
  • Long term opioid use can lead to contamination in the heart, causing the lining to become infected.
  • Lung infections and respiratory depression are both common with long-term opioid use. These lead to slowed breathing, which can be fatal. Respiratory arrest is another issue with the lungs that can affect the body. When your breathing slows, it can lead to a coma or even death. 
  • The effects on the muscles are clear with opioid use long-term. It can interfere with the nervous system and the way that it functions. This leads to painful muscles and makes you more sensitive to pain.
  • Did you know that your digestive system can also be affected by long-term use of opioids? It can slow the digestion system right down and this results in constipation and other issues in the bowel.
  • Using opioids for a longer period of time can suppress the immune response in the body. This makes the body more vulnerable to infection.
  • Your bones are as affected by the long term use of prescription medications as any other area of the body.

When you take them properly, prescription pain medication is effective in the right way. It has to be followed exactly to recover a patient from their pain or injury. Anyone prescribed this kind of medication has to be aware of the side effects and effects on your body with misuse can lead to addiction. This can send anyone on a spiral of difficulty that could have been avoided. It can take just five days to develop an addiction to opioids, and it’s important to take note of any side effects as they happen. 


Longer-term side effects and withdrawal can be difficult for the body and the sweating and cravings that come with it can also be a problem. You can severely disrupt your daily routine and this can cause issues in the rest of your life. Speaking to your doctor about safe opioid use is important and they can talk you through any of the side effects that worry you. The way to avoid addiction can include the lowest possible prescription and never taking more than is prescribed. If your pain is lasting longer than the prescribed dosage, speak to your doctor. They will ensure that you are able to get the right treatment to help you avoid spiraling.

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