Analgesics (Sedatives) Veselības projekti Latvijai

Analgesics (Sedatives)

The pain is one of the widespread reasons making the persons to seek medical advice. Analgesics belong to the group of the mostly used drugs. The most popular among nonprescription drugs in Latvia is ibuprofen (ibumetin, ibumax, irfen, nurofen). For instance, 1 626 689 boxes of ibumetin and 504 359 boxes of paracetamol were bought in Latvia in 2008.

Excessive or improper use of analgesics could have heavy, sometimes even fatal consequences. It is a serious mistake to think that nonprescription drugs are safe.

Combined analgesics (drugs containing more than one active agent, such as citramon or sedalgin) have no actual preferences and could be harmful.

These preparations cause renal disorders more often than the sedatives containing one component.

But problems could be created also by the one-component drugs. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is not advisable for children under 16 years old, as far as a side effect dangerous to life - Reye's syndrome - could develop. The syndrome affects the children, who receive acetylsalicylic acid for making the temperature reduced or pains relieved in cases of viral infection.

Regular and lasting use of paracetamol (acetaminofen, panadol, tylenol) could lead to the damage of liver or kidneys, but overdosage - to fatal damage of liver. The patients often overdose paracetamol using the so called "cough remedies" – Coldrex, Fervex and other "hot drinks", which contain just one active agent - paracetamol.

Metamizole (analgin, dipirone) – one of the most popular analgesics in many parts of the world, also in Latvia – could induce agranulocytosis a potentially lethal condition, in which the number of leukocytes in the human body is reduced) or anaphylactic shock. The American Medical Association (AMA) reported as early as in 1973 that the use of dipyrone is unjustified. In 1977, the US Food and Drug Administration withdrew the preparation from the market and prohibited its export. In the West Europe, the drugs are allowed in Germany, but only for the use in hospitals. Unfortunately, the drugs are still widely used in the Eastern Europe, including Latvia, especially for headache relieve. 251 221 packages of analgin were sold in Latvia in 2008.

Since 2007, they have not advised in most European countries to use nimesulidum (Nimesil, Mesulid, Aponil, Coxtral), as far as the drug has toxic impact on liver. The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) has established that nimesulidum cannot be prescribed to / used by children under 12 years old. It could be used in case of acute pains, pains caused by osteoarthritis (changes in joints, also called osteochondrosis) or menstruation. Nimesulidum is not advisable for temperature reducing in acute diseases.

Analgesics are most often advertised as "the most efficient", "the fastest" and "most safe" remedies of treatment of a chill. Sometimes, such advertising is absolutely groundless, as far as the medicines do not treat, but just remove the symptoms of disease, i.e. improve the patient's general condition. Of course, it is important to make relieved the muscular pains, headache or fever caused by disease, but it is nevertheless worth asking the physician about other - simpler remedies.

When citing, reference to the Society Veselības projekti Latvijai is obligatory.