Pain Relieving Medicine
Pain Relieving Medicine
  • Yoo Kang Hyun-ji
  • 승인 2007.11.05 18:46
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Pain is not a disease but rather a symptom of disease or a result of actual or potential damage to tissue.  Relieving pain does not mean that it cures the underlying disease or fundamentally repairs the damaged tissue.  But it is an essential part of the treatment regimen.  Pain is often described as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience.  It involves both the peripheral and central nervous systems (CNS) and it may be acute (eg, sprained ankle) or chronic (eg, arthritis). 

Sometimes pain is described as peripheral or visceral; peripheral pain is located in muscles, bones, and joints, whereas visceral is originating from internal organs.  Stimuli that damage tissue through chemical, mechanical, or thermal means will cause the activation of pain receptors called nociceptors, which exist on nerve endings in nearly all tissue.  These stimuli may directly activate or sensitize nociceptors, or may do so indirectly by causing the release of various chemical mediators, which subsequently activate or sensitize the nociceptors. 

Examples of these mediators are prostaglandins, leukotrienes, substance P, bradykinin, histamine, and cytokines.  These and other chemical mediators may also be involved in the transmission of the nerve impulse (then called neurotransmitters) to the spinal cord and to the brain, which results in pain perception.  Other neurotransmitters called endorphins are released in the CNS as a means to control the pain.  These endogenous opioid analgesics combine with specific receptors to inhibit the pain impulse. Other neurotransmitters in the CNS, such as serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), may also be involved in inhibiting pain impulses.


How does some medicine do in Your Pain?

Some people often experience migrane(one kind of headaches that is concerned with one-sided of head.)  And many people take aspirin for relieving this pain.  Aspirin is an acetylated salicylate analgesic, which also has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and antithrombotic effects.  In the body, it is hydrolyzed to salicylate, which is also active. Salicyclates, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen inhibit the effect of cyclooxygenase (COX). 

Cyclooxygenase is responsible for the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin G2 (PGG2), the first step in prostaglandin synthesis.  Prostaglandins are themselves powerful irritants and produce headaches and pain on injection in man.  They also appear to sensitize pain receptors to other noxious substances such as histamine and bradykinin.  Thus, the inhibition of prostaglandin liberates you from your pain.  However, it may appear more harmful effects while you are having difficulty in digestive system, because prostaglandin plays a role in protecting the gastric mucous membrane in digestive system.  In addition, taking salicylate for a long time may result in hearing loss, hyperventilation, and Reye’s syndrome(it can occur only to children infected with virus disease or chickenpox.)

Acetaminophen(known as Tylenol) is used for relief of headaches, fever, and mild pain, vastly.  When children have a cough, they often are prescribed acetaminophen.  This is because acetaminophen affects hypothalamus directly as regulating our body temperature with reliving pain.  But you need to know that it does not reduce the inflammation that is present in many forms of arthritis.  And overdoses of it may cause liver failure through hydroxylation of it.  According to the 2006 survey of Public Citizen, one of civic groups in U.S.A., 42 percents of hepatic insufficiency (liver failure) which occurred for 6 years from 1998 is caused by the effect of acetaminophen. 

Aspirin is often combined with acetaminophen in a single tablet for relief of arthritis and other painful conditions.  The dose of each should be adjusted individually to achieve the greatest benefit with the fewest side effects.  Ibuprofen is an NSAID that is now available without a prescription for control of aches, pains, fever, and menstrual cramps.  The benefits of this drug are similar to those of aspirin, but overdoses are less likely to cause serious illness than are overdoses of aspirin.


Some Q&A

Question 1: I often drink coffee because it could wake me up in the early morning.  But I heard that caffeine of coffee has some harmful effects.  My mother doesn’t like coffee owing to headaches after drinking it.  How does caffeine involve in our body?

Answer1 : Caffeine makes every muscle tighter and these increased muscle tension leads to pain.  And even if you only have one cup in the morning, your sleep quality that night is diminished.  This is shown by EEG (Electro Encephalo Graph) readings in sleep labs.  So you wake feeling less refreshed, and grab a cup.  Then you get drowsy in the afternoon from lack of quality sleep the night before, and want another cup.  In other words, it's a vicious cycle.  At this point, you're addicted.  In addition, caffeine reduces REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) and deepest sleep, Stage-4 sleep.  This means less recovery from physical stress, less benefit from exercise, and less HGH (Human Growth Hormone) release.  Furthermore, inability to descend fully into deep sleep is associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS), two painful conditions.  Often people who have quit caffeine tell that they have less anxiety, less anger, and feel less stressed.  But it may take a month or two for this to happen at least.

Question 2: I am worried about drug addiction of migraine, and I would like to know the addiction about medicine of headaches.

Answer 2: Above all, for migraine treatment, and if you suffer from chronic migraine, the use of medicine prescribed by doctor is better than ordinary medicine about headaches. Some medicine taken for headaches include caffeine, and these medicine appears addiction owing to caffeine.  Actually, caffeine itself is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased heart rate and alertness.  Most people who are sensitive to caffeine experience a temporary increase in energy and elevation in mood. If taken in moderate amounts (like a single can of soda or cup of coffee), many people feel that caffeine increases their mental alertness.  But higher doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and the jitters and can interfere with normal sleep though. And very high doses of caffeine - like taking a whole box of alertness pills - would be very harmful to the body.  Tylenol and aspirin doesn’t have caffeine.  Furthermore, medicine of simple compound organization is more safe. 




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