Over the counter painkillers provide a quick solution to aches and pains but can become addictive. Prolonged use of some, such as those containing codeine, may become addictive as your body builds up a tolerance to them.

Look out for the Psychological Symptoms:

1. Extreme mood swings

2. Irritability

3. Withdrawal issues

Raymond Dixon, lead addiction therapist says in an article on allaboutyou.com says, “Of course, short-term use of painkillers to treat a headache or period pain won’t do you any harm. But if the pain hasn’t gone within a day or two, the medication clearly hasn’t done its job.”

Useful facts to know about painkillers:

  • Paracetamol takes longer to leave the system and can build up over time, with a number of physical consequences, including liver damage.
  • It’s important to be aware of the caffeine content in these products – particularly if you also drink caffeinated drinks, such as cola and coffee. Some painkiller brands contain particularly high levels of caffeine, which is, in its self, highly addictive.
  • Caffeine acts as a stimulant to the heart and central nervous system, and increases blood pressure in the short term. So taking a high-caffeine pill could be putting a strain on your heart, too.

‘Anyone who is concerned they might be addicted to, or developing a dependency on, over-the-counter painkillers really must seek professional help,’ insists Raymond Dixon.

Nightingale’s team of experts are happy to discuss any concerns you have. Find out more about addiction and addiction treatment.

Make an enquiry

Please contact us in confidence so we can help.

Enquire now

Related Conditions

“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”