Pain Management

All You Need To Know About Pain Medications

These medicines can provide immediate relief from pain. Whether you should take OTC drugs or prescription medicines depends on the severity of the problem you are facing, but both medications help suppress pain and give relief.

Over the counter medications

Drugs like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are readily available to buy without a doctor’s prescription.  

These medications block the substances known as COX 1 and COX 2 to relieve pain related to inflammation.

Some of the NSAIDs drugs include:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Asprin

These over the counter medications are especially helpful in conditions such as:

  • Headache
  • Arthritis
  • Sprains
  • Minor injuries
  • Backache
  • Muscle aches
  • Menstrual pain

Prescription drugs

You might require more potent drugs if the OTC medications fail to provide relief for your pain. Medications like opioids, anticonvulsants are only available on a doctor’s prescription.

Popular prescription pain medications include:

Opioid

These can relieve acute pain and are also help manage chronic pain.

The popular opioid pain medications available in the market include:

  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Hydromorphone (Exalgo ER)
  • Hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Buprenorphine (Butrans, Buprenex)

Corticosteroids

These drugs work by suppressing the immune system’s inflammatory response to reduce the feeling of pain.

Popular corticosteroids include:

  • Prednisone (Deltasone)
  • Prednisolone (Prelone)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortef)

Anticonvulsants

These medicines’ primary purpose is to treat seizures, but they can also help relieve the nerve pain by suppressing the signals from damaged nerves.

Example of these medicines are:

  • Pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Antidepressants

These medications can also help treat chronic pain resulting from migraine and nerve damage.

Doctors recommend the following antidepressants for pain treatment:

  • SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil (paroxetine) and fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Effexor XR (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants like Norpramin (desipramine), Tofranil (imipramine), and Pamelor (nortriptyline)