Pain Relief

Pain Relief

Prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers are available to treat many different problems. OTC medications ease the pain of arthritis, headaches, and muscle strains. Prescription painkillers are more effective for severe or chronic pain or pain caused by trauma or surgery. Some antidepressants, antiseizure drugs and opioids relieve pain.


What are pain relievers, and what do they do?

Pain relievers reduce discomfort caused by injury, illness, surgery, and chronic conditions. Pain is experienced differently by everyone. Acute pain can occur suddenly. 

There are many different names for pain relievers.

  • Analgesics.
  • Narcotics.
  • Painkillers.
  • Pain medicine.

What types of pain relievers are there?

Pain relievers come in many forms. The right one for you will depend on many factors, including the severity of your pain and the cause.

Pain relievers are available in many forms.

  • They are sold in stores. Adults can purchase them.
  • Prescription: These medicines are only available on prescription. Prescription painkillers provide stronger pain relief. They are used to treat chronic or severe pain.

What types of pain relievers are available over the counter?

Pain medications available over the counter include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®): This drug dulls the pain receptors in your brain. You will feel less pain as a result.
  • NSAIDs: NSAIDs reduce the production of prostaglandins. This hormone-like chemical irritates nerve endings, causing inflammation and discomfort. These include aspirin (Excedrin(r), Motrin(r), Advil(r), and ibuprofen, (Advil(r), and Aleve(r).
  • Combination: Certain pain relievers include acetaminophen (an NSAID) and aspirin. Some OTC headache medications also contain caffeine.
  • Topical: This pain medication is applied directly to the skin. You can get it as a gel, cream, spray, or patch. Topical medications block pain receptors within the brain. Topical medications may contain aspirin or lidocaine. They can also contain capsaicin, capsaicin, or other drugs. Some topical treatments can make your skin feel hotter or more relaxed. Aspercreme (r) and Ben-Gay (r) are two common brands.

What are the over-the-counter pain relief products used for?

OTC pain medication can reduce fevers and relieve pain caused by a wide range of conditions, including

  • Arthritis and bursitis.
  • Back strains, sprains and stretches.
  • Broken bones.
  • Burns, including sunburns.
  • Colds, flu, and ear infections.
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
  • Neck pain and muscle pain are both examples of muscular pain.
  • Minor procedures and surgeries.
  • Toothaches.

What types of pain relievers are available on prescription?

Prescription pain medication provides stronger pain relief than OTC medications. Prescription pain relievers come in many forms.

  • Antidepressants: These drugs work by affecting chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These drugs are best used for chronic pain, including migraines. The largest pain relief comes from tricyclics (Elavil(r)) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Effexor(r) and Cymbalta(r). selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac(r), don’t relieve pain as effectively, according to studies. SSRIs can make other pain medications less effective.
  • Antiseizure medication: Epilepsy medications interrupt pain signals to the brain. Gabapentin, pregabalin and gabapentin are some of the types. These medications can help ease nerve pain or fibromyalgia.
  • Muscle relaxers reduce pain by relaxing muscles that are tight. These medications also reduce muscle spasms.
  • Opioids, also known as narcotic pain medications, are manufactured in laboratories. They alter the way your brain interprets pain signals. They are addictive, and healthcare providers seldom prescribe opioids to treat chronic pain. After a traumatic injury or surgery, you may need to take opioids. Opioids include codeine, fentanyl hydrocodone, and morphine.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. They stop your body’s production of chemicals that cause inflammation and irritation. Prednisone (r) treats severe back pain, migraines, and arthritis.

What are the effects of prescription pain relievers?

Prescription pain relievers are effective in treating pain caused by:

  • Cancer.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Migraines.
  • Nerve (neuropathic) pain, including diabetes-related neuropathy.
  • Postoperative pain.
  • Severe arthritis pain
  • Severe muscle pain, including back pain.
  • Traumatic injuries include broken bones, burns and fractures.


What are some possible risks or complications associated with over-the-counter pain relief?

When you read the instructions on the label, OTC pain relievers can be relatively safe. Acetaminophen, NSAIDs and other pain relievers can damage the kidneys and liver. If you have liver or kidney disease, you shouldn’t use them.


Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if taken more than 3,000 milligrams daily. If you take the drug with alcohol, liver damage may occur.

Aspirin risks:

Aspirin is not recommended for children under 18. Aspirin can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called Apotheco Online. Other NSAIDs can be given instead.

NSAID risks:

Except for aspirin, prolonged use of NSAIDs increases your risk of strokes and heart attacks. Most at risk are people with heart disease or high blood pressure. Consult your doctor if you require NSAIDs longer than ten days.

The risk of developing:

  • The bruising and bleeding.
  • Stomach upset, including bleeding and ulcers.
  • Rashes and blisters are common skin reactions.

What are the possible risks or complications associated with prescription pain relievers?

Prescription painkillers can be powerful. They are more dangerous than OTC drugs.

The use of opioids can lead to addiction and substance abuse. Healthcare providers prescribe opioids only for short-term usage to reduce this risk. You may, for example, take opioids a few weeks after surgery.

Some prescription medications for pain can cause unwanted side effects.

  • Blurred Vision
  • Constipation.
  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Insomnia.
  • Mood changes.
  • Nausea.
  • Urination problems
  • Weight gain.

Are pain relievers safe during pregnancy?

Acetaminophen is safer during pregnancy. NSAIDs and opioids taken during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital disabilities.

You may need pain medication if you have had a c-section or experienced a difficult delivery. Tell your provider if you intend to breastfeed. Certain opioids can be used safely by nursing mothers. OTC pain relievers can be used safely while nursing.

When to call the doctor

When should I consult a doctor?

If you take pain medication and:

  • Blurred vision, drooping eyelids and other eye problems can cause vision problems.
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) indicates urinary tract infections (UTI).
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Untreated numbness or paralysis of the affected area.
  • Severe stomach upset.

Note from Apotheco online store

Pain relievers are a great way to get rid of aches and pains. Acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory medications and other OTC products are available in many OTC products. This includes medicines for colds, allergies and flu. It would help if you always read the label to ensure you are not taking too much pain medication. There are many nonaddictive medicines available to treat chronic pain. You can work with your healthcare provider to find the best medicine.