What Are Pain Pills?
Pain-killers or pain pills are the medications that can help you manage pain arising from injury, existing medical condition, or physical exertion. The truth about pain pills is that they don’t cure pain. They only suppress the undesirable feeling till the natural body process work to eliminate the cause of pain.
There are two types of pain medications that you can use to manage pain – over-the-counter pain medications and prescription pain killers.
Over-the-counter drugs are best suited for short-term and intense pain that only lasts for a few hours. Prescription pain killers are there to manage long-term or chronic pain.
Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
You can find two types of OTC (over-the-counter) pain medicines:
- Acetaminophen – Tylenol
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – ibuprofen or naproxen
Acetaminophen and NSAIDs help reduce fever and relieve pain caused by muscle stiffness and aches. However, only NSAIDs can reduce swelling and irritation (inflammation). Both of these pain relievers work differently.
These pain pills relieve pain by reducing prostaglandins’ production, a hormone-like substance that incites a painful sensation.
This medicine works on the brain regions responsible for receiving and processing the body’s pain messages.
Prescription Pain Relievers
When you experience prolonged or chronic pain, a doctor can prescribe you more potent pain relievers. Prescription pain medications include:
Corticosteroids provide pain relief by easing itching, swelling, redness, and allergic reactions. To manage pain, doctors prescribe pills or injections form of this drug that can target a specific joint. It is a potent drug that might cause the following side effects:
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Weakened immune system
- Trouble sleeping
Opioids are narcotic pain killers that can contain natural, semi-synthetic, or synthetic opiates. Doctors prescribe these pain relievers to manage acute or short-term pain after surgery. Some popular opioids include:
These medications are potent but can also be highly addictive. Doctors don’t typically prescribe opioids if they can offer their patients an alternative. People who use opioids for an extended period can become addicted to them – However, if you are using it for short-term treatment of your pain. You are not at significant risk of developing a dependence on it.
Opioids can also cause the following side effects:
- Breathing problems
Antidepressants, strictly speaking, do not relieve pain. These medicines control emotions by altering the levels of specific neurotransmitters in the brain. These drugs enhance a person’s well-being and help them relax, enabling them to manage chronic pain.
Headaches, migraines, menstrual pain are some conditions that these medicines help to treat.
Following antidepressants can help treat pain:
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- SNRIs (Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
These medicines can have the following side effects
- Blurry vision
The primary use of anticonvulsants is to treat seizures. Some forms of these medications can also help with managing pain. How these drugs can control the pain is unclear, but experts believe they minimize the effects of nerves that cause pain.
Anticonvulsants don’t usually cause any severe side effects. However, you can experience the following symptoms after taking these drugs: