Back Pain Medication and Unwanted Side Effects

Taking medication will more than likely help to ease your back pain but the unfortunate reality is that most tablets are accompanied with not so pleasant side effects.

To add to our series of back pain blogs we have decided to add together a post of awareness on the side effects medication specifically prescribed for back pain can have on the body.

Medication and Unwanted Side Effects

Below are several different medicines that are usually prescribed by GP’s for back pain, followed by a break down of what side effects are usually associated with taking such drugs.

  • Acetaminophen and NSAIDs
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Opioids and narcotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antidepressants

 

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Acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin) – side effects.

Acetaminophen 

  • Liver damage


NSAIDs

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney damage

 

Topical Pain Relievers (creams, gels, lotions applied to the skin)

  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Swelling

 

Muscle Relaxers

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

 

Opioids and Narcotics

  • Drowsiness and/or a feeling of sedation
  • Severe constipation
  • Allergic reactions, including itching and hives
  • Risk of addiction

 

Corticosteroids (prescribed in a pill form or injection)

  • Elevated pressure in the eyes
  • Fluid retention in the legs and swelling
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Weigh gain
  • Problems with memory and mood
  • Nausea, stomach pain, bloating
  • Slow wound healing
  • Acne, dry skin, or thinking skin
  • Mood changes

 

Injected steroid

  • Changes to skin colour or texture
  • Facial flushing
  • Insomnia
  • High blood sugar

 

Medication and Unwanted Side Effects

Read How Other Back Pain Suffers Have Been Able to Reduce Their Pain Killer Intake.

Antidepressants

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with urination
  • Sexual problems

If you are concerned about the side effects of the medication you are taking it might be worth investigating other alternative drug-free options recommended by the NHS such as back exercises/stretches, Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Meditation, Pilates, Yoga, Hot and Cold packs, a Chiropractor or Osteopath.


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