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頭痛おじさん
頭痛おじさん

頭痛薬の副作用には気を付けて!副作用と判断する3つのポイント

頭痛のおじさん

皆さんが頭痛におそわれたとき、どのように対処をされていますか。治まるまでじっと我慢する方、横になって休む方など、さまざまかと存じますが、薬を服用し治療される方もいらっしゃると思います。しかしその際、あまり気にされていないのが副作用です。副作用と聞くとなんだか怖いイメージがありますよね。確かに市販の頭痛薬を服用することで、髪の毛が抜けたり出血したりすることはありません。しかし、副作用はあなたの気づかないところで発生していることもあるんです。

本記事では、頭痛薬を服用することで発生する副作用と、副作用が発生しているとご自身で判断するときの3つのポイントをご紹介します。普段から頭痛に悩まされており、定期的に頭痛薬を服用しているという方は本記事をぜひ参考にしてくださいね。

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そもそも「副作用」って?

頭痛の男

通常、痛みを緩和したり病気を治すために薬を服用しますよね。その痛みや病気を治す、薬本来の働きを主作用といいます。そしてそれ以外の、薬を服用したことにより起きる「眠気、吐き気、発疹」などの好ましくない症状は副作用と呼ばれています。

実は、この世に存在している薬に副作用が無いものはないといわれています。薬とは、いくつかの効果や作用を併せ持っています。そのため、ご自身に自覚が無い場合でも副作用があらわれている場合もあるのです。

それでは、頭痛薬を服用することによりあらわれる副作用とはどのようなものがあるのでしょうか。次にその副作用について詳しくみていきましょう。

頭痛薬による代表的な副作用

頭痛薬を服用することにより発症するといわれている代表的な副作用は、薬物乱用頭痛胃腸障害の2つがあげられます。主な症状や原因は次の通りです。

薬物乱用頭痛

薬物乱用頭痛は、頭痛薬を定期的に服用することにより起こる頭痛で、薬剤誘発頭痛、薬物連用性頭痛とも呼ばれています。その原因として、頭痛薬の定期的な服用により痛みを感じる神経の働きが鈍り、小さな痛みも大きな痛みとして感じるという説が唱えられています。また、頭痛を抑制する働きのあるセロトニンが減少しているために起こるという説も有力です。しかし、まだその原因ははっきりと解明されていないのが現状です。

胃腸障害

頭痛薬により併発するとされているのが、胃腸障害です。頭痛の痛みの元といわれているのが、「プロスタグランジン」という成分です。プロスタグランジンは、身体に刺激が発生すると作られるホルモンの一種で、血管を広げ炎症を起こしたり痛みを発生させる働きがあるといわれています。頭痛もプロスタグランジンにより起こるとされているため、頭痛薬はプロスタグランジンを抑える働きがあります。しかし、プロスタグランジンが減少すると、胃の壁を守る粘液も減少してしまうのです。その結果、胃を壊し胃腸障害を引き起こすといわれています。

代表的な副作用は上記の通りですが、もちろん服用する薬の種類によってはその他の症状がでる場合もあります。明らかな症状だとすぐに気づくこともできますが、中には副作用がでているにも関わらずご自身も気づいていないこともあります。それでは次に、副作用が出ているということを判断する3つのポイントについてご紹介します。

副作用と判断するときの3つのポイント

頭痛薬による副作用を判断するときの3つのポイントとは、次の通りです。

  • 一度症状が緩和し再びあらわれたとき
  • 今までの症状が更に悪化したとき
  • 更に別の症状があわられたとき

では次に、上記の3つのポイントについて詳しくご案内します。

一度症状が緩和し再びあらわれたとき

頭痛薬を服用し、一度は症状が緩和したにも関わらず再び痛みがあわられたときは、服用した薬が原因で痛みを再発させている可能性があります。この場合は、服用した薬を引き続き服用するのを止めましょう。もし、病院より処方された薬であれば医師に相談してください。薬局などで購入した頭痛薬の場合は、薬剤師に相談してみると良いですよ。

今までの症状が更に悪化したとき

頭痛が更に悪化したときも、副作用があらわれている証拠です。頭痛薬があまり効いていないという場合もありますが、服用した頭痛薬を継続して服用するのは避けた方が良さそうです。この場合、別の頭痛薬を試してみるのも一つの方法といえるでしょう。

更に別の症状があわられたとき

頭痛の他に何らかの症状があらわれたときは、副作用と疑っても良いでしょう。その症状として、発熱、悪寒、嘔吐、発疹、しびれ、かゆみ、下痢などがあげられます。その他にも、いつもとは異なる症状が確認できたときは、副作用と考えられます。続けて服用すると、更に他の症状を引き起こすこともあるので注意してください。

まとめ:判断するのが難しい副作用

本記事では、頭痛薬を服用することで発生する副作用と、副作用が発生しているとご自身で判断するときの3つのポイントをご紹介してきました。もし頭痛薬を服用している際、次の3つの症状に当てはまるときは、服用した頭痛薬を継続して使用することは控えた方が良いでしょう。

  • 一度症状が緩和し再びあらわれたとき
  • 今までの症状が更に悪化したとき
  • 更に別の症状があわられたとき

副作用は明らかな症状でない限り、ご自身で判断するのは難しいものです。しかし、頭痛薬を飲んでいるという安心感から大丈夫だろうと、気にされない方もいらっしゃるかと思います。まず、どのような薬も副作用があり、服用している間はご自身で頭痛以外に身体の変化は無いかどうか、常に気を付けることが大切といえるでしょう。みなさんも副作用があわれていないかどうか、本記事を参考に判断してくださいね。

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