Pain medicines are also called analgesics. Every type of pain medicine has benefits and risks. Specific types of pain may respond better to one kind of medication than to another kind. What takes away your pain might not work for someone else.
See also: Pain medications - narcotic
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are good for many types of pain. Over-the-counter means you can buy them without a prescription from your health care provider. OTC medicines include:
Acetaminophen is called a non-aspirin pain reliever.
NSAIDs are pain medicines that:
These medicines relieve pain, but they also reduce swelling from arthritis or a muscle sprain or strain. When they are taken for short periods of time, they are safe for most people. A few precautions are:
Even if you are healthy, if you are taking pain relievers on most days, tell your doctor. You may need to be watched for side effects.
Medications for pain - non narcotic; Drugs for pain - non narcotic; Analgesics
Max MB. Pain. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 28.
Zhou YL, Principles of pain management. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 48.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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