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Myth: Increased Doses of Painkillers
Another myth concerning pain control
is that over-the-counter pain medications, like
ibuprofen, are much safer than opioids. This perception
is incorrect and according to Ms. Johnson, “Large doses
of ibuprofen are more dangerous and more harmful to the
stomach and liver, than we realize. Over-the-counter
does not mean safer.” Non-prescription pain relievers
should be administered with caution and still may not
relieve pain properly.
Suffering doesn’t have to be a necessary part of death.
Ms. Johnson comments, “What we know now about pain
management is that, 95% of cancer pain can and should be
relieved through simple means, like morphine. In the
past we were told not to medicate, that was then and
this is now.” She believes that drugs do not hasten
death but pain may hasten death.
Through good hard information, like The Lancet report,
the perception of treating pain by care professionals
and the public could transform. Family caregivers may
want to communicate with their doctors their interest in
obtaining more information about certain pain
medications; because it is possible not all care
professionals have read the new research themselves.
According to the study, our loved-ones do not have to
spend the last days of their lives in pain any more.