Painkillers are potent medicines that interact with the nervous signals traveling between the nervous system and the brain. Codeine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, and Tramadol are different types of painkillers available to purchase. These medications also affect the regions of the mind associated with pleasure and produce a “high.”
The Truth About Painkillers
Painkillers are those medicines that relieve or reduce the feeling of pain, which can include headaches, arthritis, sore muscles, etc. There are several different pain medications, and each one of them has several advantages and disadvantages. Every person responds to the pain differently, and some medicines are more suitable to treat one kind of illness than others.
For mild pain, a person can use readily available over-the-counter medicines. There are mainly two types of OTC medications prevalent in the market; these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and Aspirin, naproxen (Aleve) are some of the examples OTC NSAIDs.
A doctor might prescribe a stronger drug if the OTC fails to provide the expected outcome. This prescription might include opioid pain medications, which are very potent and can be addictive. These medications are more productive, but they can also cause some severe side effects. Because of the possibility of a dangerous outcome, people should only take prescription drugs under the supervision of a doctor.
Ways of taking Painkillers
Painkillers are available in tablet form as well as in liquid form. A person can take these medicines orally or get them injected into their veins by a healthcare professional. Do not try to administer an injection by yourself, as that can be dangerous, and it is way easy to overdose on liquid than it is on tablets.
You should take the painkillers as your doctor has recommended. The adequate dosage for each individual depends on their age, body weight, mental and physical condition, and their response to a particular medication. Follow the prescription to get the best result and avoid any complications. If the recommended dose is not able to relieve the pain, then do not increase the dosage; instead, talk to the doctor and figure out if you need to switch to a different medication.
Due to the possibility of developing a dependence on these medications, one should not use these medicines without consulting with a doctor.
Types of Painkiller Medicine
Mostly all the painkillers available in the market fall in one of the following category
This category meds like paracetamol. Some medicines of this group are available as over-the-counter medications, while others are more potent and require a doctor’s prescription to buy.
Opioid pain medications are very potent Meds that help treat moderate to severe pain. The substance used in these pills comes from the opium plant or made in the lab synthetically, but the chemical structure of both is the same. These drugs work by affecting the brain chemicals and changing how the body will respond to the feeling of pain.
A combination of two different medicines put together to fight the feeling of pain comes under this category. The combination can include an NSAID and a sedative, or an opioid and a non-opioid drug. Co-codamol, which combines codeine with paracetamol, is an example of such medicines.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen belong to this group. Similar to non-opioid painkillers, these medications are also available over the counter, and for the higher dosage pills, one will need a prescription from a physician.
Side Effects of Painkillers
The strong painkillers are very effective in treating moderate to severe pain, but they can also cause some severe side effects. A person should be cautious while using these drugs to minimize the risk of side effects. Some of the common side effects of painkillers include
- Poor concentration
- Slower breathing rate
- Memory problems
- Slower movements and reactions
- Mood swings
- Tired feeling
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Drug tolerance
All the medications have almost similar side effects, but they all work to provide relief from different kinds of pain. Though these adverse effects are common, you should not avoid them. Each person experiences these symptoms differently, so if you feel uneasy after taking a painkiller, then you should contact a united healthcare (aya healthcare) professional and get proper help.
Other medicines to help control pain
The doctor might recommend other drugs to use with painkillers. These are called adjuvant drugs and can include the following
Doctors usually give prednisolone or dexamethasone to the patients to help reduce swelling and pain caused by a tumor pressing against a body part. These steroids are available in tablet form, but physicians can also give them to the patients via an injection.
These are helpful when the cause of the pain is an infection, such as an infected wound.
If the pain is getting worse due to muscle spasms, the doctor might prescribe a short course of medicine to help relax the muscles. The typical muscle relaxants include
- Clonazepam (Rivotril)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Hyoscine butyl bromide (Buscopan)
- Baclofen (Lioresal)
This medicine is helpful for the people who have pain that spread to the bones due to cancer. This drug not only helps reduce the pain, but it can also strengthen the affected bones. You can take this medicine as tablets or as a drip into a vein once a month.
Anti-epileptic and anti-depressants
Some anti-depressants and anti-epileptic drugs in low-dose can help reduce the pain caused by nerve damage. You can take these medicines in the form of tablets or capsules. Doctors increase the dose of these drugs gradually over a few weeks to moderate the pain.
This medicine available under the name of Prolia and Xgeva helps reduce bone breakdown and lower the risk of broken bones. It relieves the pain caused by cancer spreading to the bones. You can take this medicine via injection under the skin every four weeks.
Finding the right medication for you
There are plenty of pain medications to choose from, and you might have to try some of them before coming across the one that works for you perfectly. You should talk to the healthcare professional before starting the treatment, ask them any questions that you have about these drugs. It is also better to discuss the possible side effects of medicine at this stage than to suffer later.
It might take a while before you can find the right medication, so be in touch with the doctor and let them know if the medicine is not having the intended effects or if you experience any adverse effects, which disrupts your daily routine.