Popular pill problems

Many popular pills taken for headaches, sore backs, migraines and period pain contain codeine, a powerful pain killer from the same family of drugs as heroin and morphine.

It makes people feel relaxed, so even if the pain has gone, some people will keep taking it for the calming effect ? leading them to become addicted.

It is available without prescription in low doses and can be combined with paracetamol or ibuprofen ? as in Nurofen Plus, Panadol Ultra, Migraleve and other tablets available without prescription.

Ibuprofen, the second ingredient in Nurofen Plus, is also not without risk. Side-effects include indigestion, stomach ulcers and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. It should not be taken by anyone with kidney problems.

Saturday Star, 26 July 2014