Side effects of painkillers worse than those of beta blockers?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:

    Is the side effect of normal painkillers worse than side effects of beta blockers? zahra.




    Dear zahra,


    There is no simple answer to this question. You're asking to compare multiple classes of medications, each with many medications within the class. Different beta blockers have different potential side effects. There are some potential side effects that these meds will have in common, but not all.


    It's also unclear what painkillers you're asking about. What are "normal painkillers."


    It needs to be emphasized and remembered also that side effects are POTENTIAL side effects. The majority of patients do not experience them.

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    We can hazard a guess that you may be asking this because your doctor has suggested a beta blocker for Migraine prevention. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether to start a preventive or just treat each Migraine as it occurs:

    • There is now evidence that Migraine is a progressive disease. That make it important to prevent as many Migraines as possible. Please take a look at Is Migraine a Progressive Brain Disease?
    • When you do have a Migraine, Migraine abortive medications, unless you have other health issues that preclude their use, are considered to be the best treatment, not painkillers. Pain killers cannot abort (stop) a Migraine. They can only mask the pain for a few hours. See Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What's the Difference?
    • Finding an effective preventive regimen not only reduces the frequency of Migraine attacks, but the severity as well. Reduced frequency and severity of attacks leads to better health and quality of life.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.


    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2008.

    Last updated July 13, 2008.


Published On: July 13, 2008