Thursday, 21 May 2015

Paracetamol 001.

Paracetamol is a cheap drug in the United Kingdom which has a licence for mild to moderate pain and is an antipyretic (used to reduce a temperatue). It is readily available in supermarkets and pharmacies for a few pence.

Many years ago as junior grunts one of the team at ND Central was asked by a senior grunt why did older patients repeatedly say they take paracetamol as a sleeping tablet?

None of the junior grunts knew and neither did the senior grunt who posed the question. Sometimes time gives one the answer and one of the team at ND Central thinks they may finally have the answer.

As one gets older people develop wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) and this can affect the neck and is often known as cervical spondylosis when it affects the neck.

Spondylosis is virtually universal and is part of the triad of patheticness that many GPs hear as an opening gambit of any consultation “I have spondylosis, irritable bowel and fibromyalga” to try and gain sympathy from GPs before the average punter has even thought of creating a symptom for any new disease (and prior to the can I just have a repeat prescription and a sick note?).

Recently one of the more senior members at ND Central noticed that they kept waking up with neck pain at about 03.00 at night. Instead of dialing 999 or asking for an urgent consult with NHS dumb, dumb, dumb they took some paracetamol and after an hour they were able to go back to sleep.

As this happened repeatedly for several days they employed logic, rather than ring NHS dumb, dumb, dumb, or demand an urgent consult with their GP, or ask for a home visit, or go to A&E because I couldn’t sleep for a night and it was doing my head in, and thought if one was to take paracetamol before one got the pain one might not wake up at 03.00?

And they did and they slept.

So perhaps the answer to the question proposed many years ago was finally answered?

Paracetamol is not a sleeping pill but a painkiller and if pain does not disturb sleep then you sleep.

Perhaps this is why many elderly patients refer to Paracetamol as a sleeping tablet? Maybe some of the elderly worked this out themselves before the politicians invented instant access to NHS healthcare?

Praise be to the Party for denying common sense and providing NHS dumb, dumb, dumb in its place and mandating its use for all. If you notice that when you reverse the car your neck doesn’t quite twist as much as it did before then this will come to you at some point – if you love long enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love you Northern Doc. Just discovered your blog and has had me laughin' out loud.
From a Southern doc.