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Chronic pain: Expert discusses 'conflict' with using painkillers

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Legal opioids – a group of drugs used in the UK to treat chronic and acute pain – can cause devastating side-effects. Nausea, vomiting and constipation are common for people consuming drugs like morphine and co-codamol. “Dramatic” damage and “cell death” in the gut caused by these drugs could be the root of these commonly experienced problems, suggests research published in The American Journal of Pathology in May.

The authors of the study treated some mice with morphine – a drug that is commonly prescribed in the UK for people in pain – and others with a placebo.

What they witnessed in the mice given the drug was a buildup in stomach acid and slower gastric emptying, which appeared to cause damage in the mices’ guts.

Gastric emptying is the process of removing food from your stomach. The longer this process takes, the longer acid remains in the stomach, which can cause inflammation to surrounding tissue.

The authors explained that morphine led to “significant disruption” of cells that produce mucus as well as the cells layering the stomach, known as the glandular region. They also noted that there was an increased number of dead cells or “apoptotic cells”. These signs are typical features of “gastric damage”, they add.

Shockingly, generic proscar online uk the researchers noticed “dramatic bloating” in the animals. The stomach volume of mice given morphine was seen to increase by three times compared to the placebo mice.

It is thought by the scientists that opioids are linked closely to a chemical called cytokine Interleukin 6. The specimins given the morphine had “elevated levels” of this chemical.

Mice that didn’t have high levels of cytokine IL-6 did not have the same negative effects from morphine.

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Interleukin 6 is a chemical that is heavily linked to the onset of inflammation around the body.

Since the study was based on mice, it cannot be certain that this effect relates to humans and more experiments may be required.

How common is morphine in the UK?

Morphine is regularly used in the UK as part of managing pain. Morphine liquid is used for short-term pain relief whereas morphine tablets and slow-release capsules are used to treat long term pain relief.

Roughly one in 100 people are estimated to experience side effects.

Other side effects known to be caused by the condition include headaches, itchy skin, vertigo, and feeling sleepy, explains the NHS.

In some cases, morphine side effects can become a medical emergency. If you experience a seizure or a fit or develop breathlessness – it is important to seek emergency help.

Morphine should be used carefully because of this. Its side effects, as well as being dangerous, can worsen users’ quality of life.

However, morphine can be an incredibly addictive drug. But there are ways to better manage the consumption of the drug.

There are rehabilitation clinics around the UK, such as UK Addiction Treatment Centres, that can support people through an opiate detox to remove their physical dependency on the drug.

A major sign of painkiller addiction is spending a lot of time thinking about and obtaining and recovering from the drugs.

Painkiller addiction can also cause cognitive issues such as poor judgment and confusion.

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