Pain Relief Drugs: Types| Uses | Side Effects| 8MG Africa


Many drugs are used to manage pain resulting from inflammation in response to tissue damage, pathogens, or nerve damage. Protein targets are specific to specific tissues, allowing drugs to precisely target individual cells or organs.

Drugs exhibiting high specificity require lower doses and have fewer side effects than those with lower specificity. Therefore, a caregiver/medical practitioner needs to understand pharmacology to assist and recognize side effects. They also understand how medications may respond when combined and the limitations of the medicine in managing chronic pain.

Drugs for pain relief

                  Image Source: Volodymyr Hyrschenko (Unsplash)

Medication for pain

Pain relievers are medications that relieve or reduce severe headaches, sore muscles in the body, arthritis, or other aches and pains. People have slightly different responses to pain relievers.

Over the counter pain relievers

Over the counter means you can buy these medications with no prescription. The common types of OTC pain medicines are aspirin, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)


Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is known as a non-aspirin pain reliever. It is not an NSAID, which is described below:

Acetaminophen relieves fever and headaches, and other everyday aches and pains. It does not reduce inflammation. Note that this medicine does not cause stomach problems like other pain medicines. However, precautions should be taken to avoid complications.

Aspirin and NSAIDs

Aspirin and NSAIDs are used to relieve fever and pain. They are also reduce swelling from arthritis or a muscle sprain or strain. It is usually taken for a short time (no longer than ten (10) days). Children under eighteen (18) years of age should not take aspirin due to the risk for Reye syndrome in the body. To reduce this possibility, they should be taken with food. In addition, these drugs may cause kidney failure in those with kidney. Or liver disease. Also, some NSAIDs increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Prescription pain killers

Everyday painful situations in which analgesics find use include labor, back pain, urinary tract infections, etc.

The prescription arsenal against pain is extensive. It also includes more potent NSAIDs than their OTC and opioid analgesics. There are also some unconventional analgesics which means drugs that were not originally developed as pain relievers but found to have pain-relieving properties in certain conditions. For example, fibromyalgia pain medications include an anti-seizure drug and an antidepressant.

Get over the counter drugs in Nigeria here

A significant difference between anti-inflammatories and opioid analgesics is that anti-inflammatories have a “ceiling effect,” which means that continuous dose escalation does not provide concomitant escalation in pain relief—one reason why opioids are so helpful in treating.

Opioid analgesics are the most vital pain-relieving medications in which the benchmark drug in this class as morphine. At the bottom of the list is codeine, usually prescribed in combination with acetaminophen to relieve pain such as that resulting from dental work. Codeine is only about one-tenth as powerful as morphine; Opioids more powerful than morphine include hydromorphone and oxymorphone, but the strongest opioid in the community use is fentanyl which is administered intravenously. Fentanyl is a whole lot more potent than morphine. It is also available as a long-release patch (Duragesic) and as Ionzege that dissolves in the mouth (Actiq).

Some of the side effects of opioid analgesics include but are not limited to drowsiness, dizziness, respiratory depression, constipation. Some other possible side effects of opioids analgesics include hallucinations, agitation, seizures, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, muscular rigidity, contractions, nausea, vomiting, and urinary retention.


Corticosteroids, commonly referred to as steroids, are man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that your adrenal glands produce naturally.

Examples of local steroids treatment include joint injections, ear drops, and skin creams. Systematic steroid treatment includes oral medicine or medicine that is delivered directly into the vein or muscle. Local steroid treatments are usually prescribed instead of systematic steroids to reduce the risk of side effects. Some common side effects of steroids include increased appetite, weight gain, muscle weakness, blurred vision, swollen/puffy face, changes in mood, acne, difficulty sleeping, nervousness, restlessness, and many others. To minimize the side effects of steroids, use steroids for local problems; use the smallest dose needed to control the disease; also monitor blood pressure and blood sugar often and treat if necessary.

injection pile

                  Image Source: Hennie Stander (Unsplash)

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *