Pain medications are given to patients to stop or relieve pain. The pain experienced may be a sharp or a dull, numbing or a burning sensation which can be acute, or chronic, major or minor. Pain medications work by stopping the transmission signals at the site of pain or injury from reaching the brain. Pain medications react differently in different people. Thus one set of pain medication might not be suitable for each one with the same form of injury. Pain medications or analgesics are of two types: NSAIDs and Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
What are NSAIDs?
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs are drugs used as pain relievers. Some of the NSAIDs are available to the patients even without prescription. These are:
• Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen functions by reducing hormones which cause pain and inflammation in the body. It is widely used for reducing fever, and treating of painful conditions like arthritis, back pain, toothache, and headache. Ibuprofen is also used in the treatment of minor injury and menstrual cramps. Some of the Ibuprofen drugs are Advil, Excedrin IB, Midol 200, Pamprin IB, and Nuprin.
• Naproxen: This category of NSAID is also used for acting as pain relievers. Some of the physiological conditions that are treated with Naproxen are tendonitis, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, and gout. Some of the drugs in this group of NSAID are Naprelan ‘500′, Midol Extended Relief, Anaprox, and Anaprox-DS.
• Aspirin: Aspirin belongs to a category of drugs known as salicylates. Aspirin is used to bring down fever, inflammation and pain. It is also used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic fever. Rectal aspirin is the generic name while Aspirin is the brand name. Some of the aspirin drugs include Anacin, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Aspergum, and Ascriptin.
Generally aspirin and ibuprofen are drugs which act as short term pain relievers. Naproxen usually has a long term effect. It might be necessary to take in three or four doses of naproxen to get any effect. It is ideal to make use of ibuprofen for instant relief and use naproxen for longer lasting effect. Some of the pain medications which are strictly available with prescriptions include.
• fenoprofen (Nalfon)
• indomethacin (Indocin, Indocin-SR)
• ketorolac (Toradol)
• tolmetin (Tolectin)
• oxaprozin (Daypro)
What is Acetaminophen?
This is mainly used to lower fever and bring relief to aches and pains of a milder nature. This category of drug is not capable of reducing swelling (inflammation). Acetaminophen is usually safer to use than NSA
IDs for both children and adults.
Side effects of pain medications
The major side effect of pain relievers is gastrointestinal bleeding. The probability is high in case of long term use. However at certain times in case of those individuals with a history of gastric irritation, bleeding in stomach might occur in the short run itself. Kidneys might also get adversely affected through the long term use of NSAIDs and acetaminophen.
It is recommended that you use pain medications with extreme caution and do not exceed the recommended dosage at any cost.