Harriet (61 years old) finds it increasingly difficult to manage her work at the office. She has chronic pain in her loins, shoulders and neck since 15 years back. Harriet suffers from sleep disturbances because of nightly pain and wake ups. Her situation is getting worse, and Harriet takes various types of painkillers e.g., paracetamol, ibuprophen, mild opioids and nature drugs of different kinds. She has not found sufficient relief from her pain. Harriet is getting more and more desperate and considers taking cannabis but she is uncertain whether her body can tolerate all this medication.
Painkillers are highly effective at blunting pain, however, prolonged use can cause dependence. Excessive use may lead to overdosage. Often, the most commonly used drugs like paracetamol, ibuprophen, codeine, and opioids do not provide adequate pain relief. A pharmacogenomic analysis may reveal the cause being genetic variation in drug metabolism.