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Drugs - difference in medicines

Q: My 70-year old father-in-law recently tumbled and hurt his foot. He was prescribed a pain-killer called Urgendol 1 tablet 3 times daily. When there was little improvement, he was given Expergesic, again 1 tablet 4 times daily. What is the difference between these two medicines? Can they be taken for long term? Is it okay to give these drugs to elderly people?

A:Urgendol is the brand name of a pain-killer that contains 50mg of tramadol. It is an effective agent that can be used both in acute as well as chronic cases. Your doctor has prescribed 3 capsules daily which is well below the maximum of 8 capsules that are allowed. The only important precaution is while driving vehicles because it can cause slight drowsiness and/or impairment.
Expergesic is also indicated for relief of moderate to severe pain. It contains paracetamol 500mg and pentazocine 15mg. Again your doctor has prescribed 4 tablets while its maximum dose is 8 tablets. If at all there are any side-effects, they are minor such as nausea, sedation etc.
Both the above agents can be safely given to elderly for as long as it is necessary to relieve pain. The pain in foot, particularly when small bonesget fractured or otherwise injured is pretty and sometimes exceedingly painful that relatives and carers cannot appreciate. Therefore proper effective pain-killers must be given to make the patient comfortable andavoid sleeplessness. Such pain can last for weeks and sometimes months; soone should not worry too much if total cure is not quick.

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