Background information

The challenges of life are numerous. These challenges, most times, cause stress and pain. In such situations, many people resort to the use of painkillers and antidepressants. In other cases, due to the nature of work some people do, they medicate their sleep and rest life. That is, while some people take drugs to induce sleep, others take these drugs to keep awake. There’s no doubt that these drugs are effective, but the sad reality is that many individuals administer medication for themselves. They don’t seem to understand the side effects, they don’t care about the combination of these drugs, and they are not interested in whether the recommended prescription is followed.

In essence, they just leave their lives on these drugs and take them whenever they need to.

This is not to say that sleeping pills are all dangerous to health. Drugs such as these have their place in orthodox medicine. A simple example is a need during surgery and emergencies that involves the patient being temporarily relieved from pain and having enough sleep. Therefore, medications such as these should be taken under the instructions of medical personnel to prevent them from being abused.

This article is written to enlighten the readers on the facts and side effects they never knew about painkillers and sleeping pills.


The simple idea of a painkiller is a drug taken to eliminate pain in the body. Painkillers could be any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen: This helps with minor pains like muscle aches, fever, headaches, etc. This medication poses a great problem to patients that take more than three drinks/day or have liver complications. The evident side effect ranges from bodily swellings to breathing difficulties.
  • NSAIDS: This class of medication is mostly used in the treatment of health problems that seem chronic. One of such is lupus. These drugs could aid in reducing fever as well as inflammation. The consistent use of this drug could degenerate the user to some other problems like fluid retention problems, kidney problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), and stomach problems.
  • Opioids: This class of medication is used in the treatment of pain that is of higher degrees. They pose a severe problem when combined with alcohol. This class also records the highest level of abuse as people begin to get used to its effect. They are mostly referred to as narcotics. It is therefore recommended to be strictly taken under the guidance and watch of medical personnel.

Did you know?

Painkillers could be very harmful, especially when taken in the wrong doses or wrongly combined with other substances. Here are some facts

  • ‘Approximately half of the 56,000 emergency room visits and 500 deaths that occur each year are due to acetaminophen overdose’. This is so because overdose leads to acetaminophen toxicity.
  • Opioids are the greatest threat. The United States, for instance, recorded more than 130 deaths/day, while 2017 had a total of 1.7 million individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders. These are the recorded statistics in the United States, and one only begins to wonder what happens in other parts of the world. It has therefore become a challenge to social and economic well-being in different countries, as the productivity of citizens seems to have reduced.
  • If opioid intake is not controlled, the body may get used to it. Once your body gets used to it, it becomes less effective to your body. As such, you may be tempted to increase the dosage in order to feel the effect. Although you may feel normal and okay after an overdose, you can never tell how your system’s internal processes have been affected.
  • Some painkillers are not suitable for those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Also, some painkillers may not combine with drugs for conditions like hypertension. This is one of the reasons one should seek medical advice before introducing painkillers to medication.
  • In general, the most common side effects of painkillers are constipation, mental fog, nausea, respiratory depression etc.

Sleeping pills

Sleeping pills are simply medications people take to induce sleep. People take sleeping pills for various reasons. The common class of people that take sleeping pills are asthmatic patients, those undergoing surgeries,  and the elderly who may have difficulties sleeping. The sad reality is that sleeping pills also have adverse effects. Here are some of them

  • Dependence

It is always advisable to stick to medical prescriptions when taking any drug. Most sleeping pills are designed for short-term use. In very many cases, patients could decide to continue with the prescription even after the medication period has elapsed. This makes your body get used to the medication. Another thing people may not know is the fact that most sleeping pills have side effects, but they may become inconsequential when the doctor’s prescription is followed. As such, consistently taking these pills could magnify these side effects to become greater health challenges.

  • Parasomnia

This refers to the weird behaviour people experience while asleep. They are usually associated with an overdose of sleeping prescriptions. Some of the common behaviours are sleepwalking, sleep-eating, sleeptalking etc.

  • Lethargy

Many sleeping pills could have side effects even when taken in the right dosage. Once you notice these reactions, seek medical advice to either reduce dosage, continue the prescription, or totally discontinue the drug usage. Some of the reactions include hives, itching, vomiting, chest pain, blurry vision, respiratory difficulties etc.


In as much as one must cope with stress and other difficulties, it’s important to put your health first. Therefore, program yourself to utilise your time properly, and don’t try to overwork yourself. Also, in a situation where you find yourself suffering from any of these pain or sleeping problems, seek medical prescriptions and follow them strictly.

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