Analgesics Long Term effects

Analgesic effects - Drug Prevention & Alcohol Facts

June 10, 2014 – 06:20 pm

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What is aspirin?

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is used to reduce pain and/or inflammation. It can be used to treat:

  • mild to moderate pain
  • fever
  • swollen, red and tender tissues
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • rheumatic fever.

It is also used in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes and bowel cancer.

Side effects of aspirin

Some of the mild side effects that may be experienced include:

  • sensory problems: dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision
  • fluid imbalance: sweating, fluid retention, ankle swelling, thirst
  • digestive problems: abdominal discomfort or bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation
  • feeling low: drowsiness, fatigue, depression.

Aspirin overdose

A high dose of aspirin can cause a person to overdose. This means that they have taken more aspirin than their body can cope with. The effects can include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • thirst
  • seizures
  • coma
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • fever
  • ringing in ears
  • deafness
  • rapid and shallow breathing
  • respiratory failure.

Long term effects

If people take high doses of aspirin over a long period of time, they may experience long-term side effects.

Serious long-term effects can include:

  • anaemia (low red blood cell count)
  • easy bruising or abnormal bleeding
  • peptic ulcers, inflamed stomach lining, stomach bleeding
  • vomiting blood that may look like coffee grounds and bowel motions that look like black tar
  • an allergic-type reaction, wheezy breathing and a tightness in the chest in adults, hives in children, or in some rare cases swelling of the face, lips, tongue or around the eyes
  • reduced kidney or liver function.

Back to "Analgesic (pain killer) facts"


What is codeine?

Codeine belongs to a group of drugs known as "opioids". Other opioids include opium, heroin, morphine, pethidine, oxycodone, buprenorphine and methadone. Codeine is used to provide relief from a number of conditions including:

  • mild to moderate pain
  • severe pain (when combined with aspirin or paracetamol)
  • dry irritating cough
  • diarrhoea
  • cold and ‘flu (when combined with antihistamines and decongestants).

Side effects of codeine

Misusing codeine increases the risk of side effects and puts a person at risk of an overdose. Some of the mild side effects that may be experienced include:

  • dizziness
  • lethargy
  • confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • euphoria, restlessness
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • limbs feeling heavy or muscles stiff
  • sweating
  • mild allergic rash, itching or hives
  • decreased heart rate, palpitations
  • stomach ache, nausea, vomiting
  • difficulty urinating, even though the person feels they need to.

Codeine overdose

A high dose of codeine can cause a person to overdose. This means that a person has taken more codeine than their body can cope with. The symptoms of codeine overdose include:

  • dizziness
  • stupor or coma
  • seizures
  • slack muscles
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • cold clammy skin that has a bluish tinge
  • dry mouth
  • very slow, shallow breathing
  • agitation.

If someone has overdosed on codeine it is important that they receive emergency care immediately so they can be given an antidote.


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