Category Archives: Pain Relief Pills

Lower back pain relief

Episodes of back pain occur in more than 80% of people at least once in their life. Soreness of this type is one of the most common complaints faced by therapists, neurologists and physicians of other specialties.

There are a number of problems that can lead to lower back pain. Relief from pain should happen timely and take into account causes of occurrence of disease states.

The main causes of discomfort in the lower back are:

  • injuries to muscles, ligaments or joints
  • degenerative changes in the spine
  • narrowing of the spinal canal
  • low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue
  • fibromyalgia syndrome

Relatively rare causes of lower back pain can be neurological and infectious diseases, ankylosing spondylitis, vertebral fractures, vertebral tumors and diseases of the internal organs.

It is normal to feel lower back soreness, especially for physically active people. This happens due to the body’s natural reaction to microtrauma of soft tissues. Workouts, sharp movements and weight lifting are the most common causes of light lower back pain.

Pain relief in humans can be pleasurable and rewarding. Simple exercises aimed at strengthening of the muscular corset and normalization of the blood supply can be performed at home or at work. To do this, you do not need to have special knowledge and spend a lot of time.

Physical exercises will relieve back pain and will help reduce the likelihood of injuries in the future. They can be performed by a person of any age and with any level of physical fitness. Type of injury and the person’s age should be taken into account when choosing intensity and duration of exercise.

Heat helps to speed up healing of soft tissues in the long term. Application of ice or cold compresses reduces inflammation immediately after the pulled muscle.

If light pain does not disappear or worsens, it is better to consult a physiotherapist. Such specialists help people affected by injuries, diseases, disability, as well as women experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy.

Pain relief and other distressing symptoms contribute to rapid recovery and strengthening of muscle tissue. As a result, quality of life is improved in people and they are able to stay healthy as long as possible.

Physiotherapists apply their skills and knowledge not only to reduce back pain. Physiotherapy is based on involvement of the person in the process of helping himself. Consultation with such specialists will allow to learn more about prevention of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory and other disorders.

A qualified physiotherapist will find out about the person’s existing or past health problems. Then the physiotherapist will determine the cause of lower back soreness, will offer treatment and help prevent development of further health problems. The patient can be offered a number of procedures that have proven their effectiveness in dealing with back pain, such as massages, acupuncture or yoga.

Tips for lower back pain relief will help to remain employable and physically active. However, if soreness of the back is caused by moderate or severe soft tissue injuries, skeletal injuries, stenosis, osteoporosis or other diseases, use of the following medications can be required:

  • NSAIDs
  • Weak analgesics
  • Vasoactive drugs
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Opioid analgesics

NSAIDs or weak analgesics are most often used for treatment of patients suffering from back pain. Such drugs have analgesic effect, reduce physical suffering and rarely cause side effects.

Unlike other drugs, NSAIDs provide analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, if the disease states are caused by inflammation, NSAIDs are recommended.

The main mechanism of NSAIDs action is to block prostaglandins production (mediators of inflammatory pain). During use of such drugs, the amount of prostaglandins in the inflammatory focus is rapidly decreasing and physical suffering disappears.

Lower back pain relief is achieved within a few hours after taking medications of the NSAIDs group. Use of recommended doses of NSAIDs several times per day will allow to maintain a stable analgesic effect.

NSAIDs are considered safe drugs, but sometimes adverse reactions occur during their use. The most frequent of them are heartburn, dry mouth, gastric ulcer and other gastrointestinal side effects.

NSAIDs or mild analgesics can be taken in combination with vasoactive drugs, muscle relaxants and medications of other types. Their application helps:

  • Reduce duration of treatment
  • Reduce risk of developing adverse reactions
  • Reduce excess muscle strain
  • Improve functional capacity of the musculoskeletal system
  • Maintain activity in everyday life

If physical suffering is intolerable or musculoskeletal disease is incurable, opioid analgesics or other powerful medications for lower back pain relief are used. Medications of this type are very effective, although their use is associated with certain risks.

Patients taking opioid analgesics may become addicted to them. Excess of the recommended dose causes a feeling of euphoria. Because of high risk of addiction and other side effects, such drugs are sold by prescription only.

It often happens that opioids are the only method of acute or chronic back pain relief. When such analgesics are taken under careful supervision of the treating physician, opioids are a safe and effective method of reducing physical suffering.

List of pain medications

Effective pain management is a complex task that requires a many-sided approach using different methods and medicines. In most cases, pharmacotherapy is the most convenient and effective method of managing physical suffering.

The list of pain medications includes several hundred names. All these medications can be divided into the following groups:

  • Mild analgesics
  • Weak opioid analgesics
  • Opioid drugs

Pharmacotherapy of physical suffering and discomfort begins with the use of mild analgesics. If the medication turns ineffective, powerful analgesics are prescribed. This approach provides a stepwise selection of analgesics from a weaker to a stronger one.

The list of pain medications is headed by Acetaminophen (Paracetamol). This is the most famous and often used mild analgesic in the US and Europe.

Pain treatment begins namely with Acetaminophen in headache, migraine, neuralgia, as well as in pain caused by injuries, rheumatic diseases and colds.

Acetaminophen has many advantages, the most important of which are:

  • Over-the-counter sales
  • Rapid relief of soreness
  • Well tolerated by patients
  • Excellent efficiency and safety profile
  • Possibility of taking with other medicines

Acetaminophen does not possess a significant anti-inflammatory effect, which can be attributed to the shortcomings of this medication.

Pain can be caused or accompanied by inflammation. If this is the case, it is recommended to use Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Drugs of this type possess anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic effects.

Today, patients have an access to a wide range of medicines for inflammation and pain. The list of NSAIDs contains dozens of pain medications, including:

  • Ketorolac
  • Etodolac
  • Ketoprofen
  • Diclofenac

Ketorolac is an effective analgesic, yet it does have several drawbacks. Due to the risks of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects, this medication is prescribed only for short-term use.

Ketorolac solution for injection should be used for up to 2 days. The maximum duration of treatment with Ketorolac tablets is 5 days.

Etodolac is included in the list of pain medications, intended for long-term use. This medicine allows monitoring chronic or acute pain of inflammatory origin.

The use of Etodolac is limited to a narrow range of indications:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

Etodolac is not indicated for the treatment of physical suffering in patients under 18 years of age. During the period of use of this NSAIDs, the elderly often experience gastrointestinal and other side effects.

Ketoprofen gel is used to treat soreness in patients over 12 years of age, adults and the elderly. The gel alleviates physical suffering and reduces inflammation, associated with soft tissue injuries.

Ketoprofen capsules are recommended to relieve suffering in people with rheumatoid diseases. Patients, who take Ketoprofen, notice increase in mobility and an improvement in life quality.

Diclofenac takes pride of place in the list of pain medications. This drug is used to control all grades of inflammation and pain in a wide range of conditions.

Indications for Diclofenac use are:

  • Migraine attacks
  • Diseases of the joints
  • Acute locomotor disorders
  • Inflammation and pain in minor surgery

Diclofenac is used in conjunction with other pain medications, including with stronger ones (e.g. Codeine). Combined use of drugs will allow controlling mild or moderate soreness.

If mild analgesics fail to alleviate physical suffering, weak opioid analgesics are prescribed. Drugs of this type are indicated for the management of acute or chronic pain caused by bone fractures, injuries, soft tissue burns and severe diseases.

The list of pain medications, used to treat moderate to severe physical suffering, includes:

  • Codeine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Tramadol

Weak opioid analgesics are usually taken 3-4 times a day. The doses should be taken at approximately equal time intervals. This allows maintaining a stable concentration of medications in the blood and providing a long-term pain relief.

For analgesia, sustained-release capsules can be used, like Maxitram SR (Tramadol). If this is the case, pain medications are taken 2 times a day, usually in the morning and in the evening. A minimum of 8 hours should pass between the dosing.

In some countries, you can buy Codeine oral solution. This medicine is not used to treat pain. It is indicated to reduce the symptoms of dry or irritating cough.

Weak opioid analgesics can cause euphoria, depression, hallucinations, drowsiness, nightmares, headache and other side effects.

All medications of this type are available for sale on prescription. If they don’t provide pain management, more powerful pain medications should be used.

The list of opioid drugs includes:

  • Pethidine
  • Levorphanol
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Pentazocine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Hydromorphone

These drugs are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. If soreness is acute, patients are prescribed tablets, oral solution or solution for injections. Capsules and sustained-release tablets allow you controlling chronic pain.

The frequency of opioid drugs intake depends on the indications and the therapeutic response. As a rule, a minimum interval of 3 hours should be observed between the doses.

The use of opioid drugs is associated with an increased risk of side effects. The list of side effects of opioids includes respiratory depression, involuntary muscle contractions, drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, nausea, anorexia and dry mouth.

During the use of opioids, a physical or psychological dependence on these drugs may develop. Therefore, opioids should be taken as little time, as possible.

The list of pain medications includes opioids supplied in the form of transdermal patches, like Bupeaze (Buprenorphine). Such patches are attached to the skin and gradually release the active substance.

Transdermal patches that include opioids are suitable for the treatment of chronic pain, for example, in cancer. During the period of the patches use, side effects do not manifest as often as they do, when people use tablets or injections.

Fioricet side effects

After the administration of the combined analgesic Fioricet, side effects may occur. However, they are mostly eliminated in one of the following ways: by changing the dosage, by replacing the drug with another analgesic, or by using other methods of anti-migraine therapy.

Unlike other potentially life-threatening pain medications, Fioricet does not have a pronounced negative impact and is well tolerated by patients. The onset of unwanted reactions is not an occasion for self-abolition of the drug.

The most common Fioricet side effects can be divided into two groups:

  • Gastrointestinal: nausea, emesis and stomach cramps
  • Psychiatric: drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness and confusion

Still, even if some adverse reactions are indicated in the instructions as “frequently observed”, they not necessarily arise in each individual patient. The negative impact of Fioricet can manifest only in 1 of 10 people who take the medicine.

In very rare cases, the side effects of Fioricet can occur on an ongoing basis. In addition to information on the frequency of occurrence, it is important to know how serious is an undesirable effect for your body. All listed adverse reactions of Fioricet are frequent, yet easily tolerable.

The frequency of occurrence and severity of adverse reactions are influenced by such factors, as:

  • coexisting illnesses
  • drug interactions
  • dosage and administration route

In clinical studies, the gastrointestinal side effects of Fioricet were less common than with other analgesics. Nevertheless, digestion problems significantly worsen patient’s life quality and require careful monitoring of patient’s condition.

Dopamine is one of the major neurotransmitters, involved in the pathogenesis of nausea and vomiting. Fioricet has a significant effect on AMPA receptors, which play a key role in maintaining the concentration of the neurotransmitter. Dopamine level surges contribute to sickness and vomiting – the most frequent gastrointestinal side effects of the drug.

Gastrointestinal intolerance is a common event in Fioricet treatment. Nausea and vomiting are the most serious gastrointestinal effects of the drug use in 70-80% of patients. The number of attacks of nausea and emesis may increase due to the fact that Fioricet tablets or capsules should be taken several times a day.

Following the nausea and vomiting, the list of the most common gastrointestinal side effects of Fioricet indicates gastric colic and diarrhea. The severity of adverse reactions from the gastrointestinal tract varies depending on the dose of Fioricet and the individual patient’s characteristics. However, people does not need additional antiemetic therapy while using this analgesic.

The variety of therapeutic effects of Fioricet (analgesic, psychostimulating, vasodilating and others) explains the fact that the negative effect of the drug on the nervous system is more pronounced, than that on the digestive system.

After the ingestion, Fioricet chemically reacts with sodium ions. As a result, the concentration of sodium salt in the body decreases. Deficiency of sodium causes the disturbance of circulation of neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin and others.

Deficiency of neurotransmitters is the reason for such psychical side effects of Fioricet, as drowsiness, decreased alertness, lightheadedness and a sense of intoxication.

Drowsiness and reduced vigilance arise only at the initial stage of Fioricet treatment. The more the patient’s body adapts to the drug action, the fewer side effects of Fioricet will manifest. However, Fioricet is capable of rarely causing long-term problems with sleep or mental state, due to which some patients are forced to stop taking the drug.

Patients, who experience unusual sleepiness while using Fioricet, should:

  • reduce the dose of the drug;
  • combine rest with moderate physical activity;
  • refrain from prolonged driving and control of complex machinery.

Rare psychic side effects of Fioricet, such as overexcitation, fatigue, are possible with an overdose of the drug. High doses of Fioricet may rarely cause hallucinations.

Unlike other combined analgesics, which are characterized by increased cardiotoxicity, Fioricet causes almost no cardiovascular side effects. When the drug is used in therapeutic doses, unwanted reactions from the cardiovascular system are not clinically significant.

Negative effects on the cardiovascular system are observed only in patients, who suffer from bronchial obstruction. Yet, the risk of cardiotoxicity significantly increases, if you take Fioricet with other pain medications.

Rare, but potentially harmful to the health side effects of Fioricet are: fainting, anaphylactic shock, serotonin syndrome, seizures, impaired renal function or hepatotoxicity.

The risk of these unwanted reactions is usually very low – less than in 1 of 100 people. Therefore, patients should not fear of the negative effects of Fioricet in advance.

Fioricet does not contribute to a weight gain. Conversely, this combined analgesic can lead to loss of appetite and a slight weight loss. Some unwanted reactions are so weak that they can hardly be noticed. Minor side effects of Fioricet are dry mouth, heartburn, fatigue, nasal congestion or tinnitus.

Chronic pain

Unlike the usual pain symptoms that go away with time, chronic pain can last from 1-3 months to many years. The patient’s suffering can be associated with an existing pathological process or a post-traumatic condition.

Chronic pain is a complex clinical problem in many fields of medicine. Gynecologists, traumatologists, neurologists, oncologists and other doctors are facing the problem of adequate analgesic therapy.

The causes of chronic pain can be:

  • severe injuries and traumas
  • lesions of the peripheral nervous system
  • serious diseases, including cancer

The most important characteristic of chronic pain is that it is always subjective. The attending physician is not in a position to accurately diagnose or assess the emotional suffering of the patient with the help of objective scoring scales.

People are mostly capable of independently determining the degree of emotional and physical suffering. Despite the subjectivity of such assessment of pain intensity, this method most often corresponds to its actual level.

Treating physicians distinguish the following types of chronic pain:

  1. Nociceptive:
  • somatic (damage to bones or soft tissues)
  • visceral (internal damage)
  1. Neuropathic (overexcitation or damage to nerve structures)
  2. Psychogenic (emotional or muscular overload on a background of depression)

A patient may suffer from one or more types of chronic pain, each of which requires a specific approach to therapy. Classification of unpleasant sensory sensations helps to establish which medication can be most effective for a particular patient.

Treatment of chronic pain syndrome should be adapted for each individual patient. To alleviate suffering, doctors use analgesics. The choice of chronic pain killers is determined by several factors, the main ones being the etiology, intensity and type of pain, as well as the individual characteristics of the patient.

The first-line drugs in the therapy of nociceptive pain are non-narcotic analgesics, including NSAID and Paracetamol. With moderate severity of neuropathic pain symptoms, opioid analgesics are used.

A peculiarity of psychogenic pain is that it occurs without any organic damage. Many medical specialists in the diagnosis of diseases note the relationship between chronic pain and depression. Psychological factors have a significant impact on physical and emotional excitement. In turn, the psychological balance of a person depends on the degree of emotional and physical suffering.

The appearance of depression signs means that a person misunderstands the cause of physical discomfort and unreasonably considers his situation to be extremely difficult. Another reason for the onset of depression may be the fact that chronic pain significantly reduces the patient’s life quality. To overcome emotional distress, people first require the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist, while the analgesic therapy becomes a secondary measure.

Regardless of the type and severity of chronic pain, adjuvant therapy should be used together with analgesics. This is an auxiliary treatment of pain symptoms, aimed at increasing the effectiveness of analgesics. Adjuvant analgesics can be anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and other drugs.

Problems that can arise during the therapy of chronic pain:

  • opioid dependence
  • side effects of drugs
  • polypharmacy (unjustified intake of several analgesics at the same time)

Men and women are equally susceptible to one or another chronic pain symptom. Fibromyalgia, which is a symmetrical physical discomfort throughout the entire body, is characteristic for men. Chronic pain symptoms in fibromyalgia are local or generalized increase in sensitivity to pathological and normal stimuli.

Chronic pain in women is often caused by adenomyosis, which is a pathological proliferation of the endometrium of the uterus. Characteristic signs of adenomyosis are:

  • infertility
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • menstrual disorder
  • disorders of the pelvic organs functioning

Relief of physical and emotional suffering in pregnant women is complicated by the fact that many drugs are contraindicated in women during the period of gestation. To reduce the risk of negative effects of drugs on the mother and child, pregnant women should be prescribed analgesics in case of emergency and only under the supervision of the attending physician.

The treatment of chronic pain is an absolute necessity, because it:

  • limits the person’s mobility;
  • significantly reduces the patient’s life quality;
  • negatively affects social activity;
  • causes mental and emotional disorders, the disintegration of the central nervous system activity.

Thus, chronic pain symptoms should be arrested, regardless of the severity and causes of their onset. Adequate and timely analgesic therapy reduces the frequency of exacerbations and the emergence of unpleasant sensory and emotional experiences.

Best pain reliever

As of today, no single approach exists in clinical practice for prescribing pain killers. It is impossible to select the best pain reliever, which would be equally effective for alleviating physical and emotional suffering for each and every patient.

Before the attending physician prescribes one or another analgesic, he should inform the patient about the properties of the drug, its therapeutic action and possible side effects. Timely prescription of the drug helps to quickly eliminate the pain symptoms.

For an adequate analgesia, the best pain reliever should have the following characteristics:

  • convenient dosing schedule;
  • optimal method of application for the patient;
  • fast analgesic effect, with a duration of at least 4 hours;
  • low systemic toxicity and minimal risk of side effects;
  • elimination of not only pain, but also somatic symptoms, like inflammation, edema, etc.
  • if necessary, to provide additional effects to anaesthetizing action, like anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, etc.

An adequate analgesic effect depends on the type and degree of pain intensity, as well as on the pharmacological class of the drug. For example, the best pain reliever for arthritis can become one of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) – Diclofenac, Ibuprofen and others. Narcotic (opioid) drugs, such as Morphine or Tramadol, are an excellent treatment option for chronic and violent attacks of pain.

Best pain reliever for back pain

The problem of back pain is still unexplored. To date, there is no treatment methods that would provide complete relief from emotional and physical suffering. Therefore, it is difficult to determine which of the drugs is the best pain reliever for back pain.

The main principle of back pain pharmacotherapy is the prescription of several drugs from different pharmacological groups. Currently, solving the problem of back pain by using only one drug is almost impossible. The choice of one or another drug for back pain should be based on knowledge of the drugs’ action mechanisms.

Depending on the reasons for the occurrence of emotional and physical suffering, the best pain reliever for back pain can be:

  • in myofascial pain syndrome – local anesthetic (Lidocaine)
  • in local muscle hypertension – one of the muscle relaxants: Tizanidine, Tolperisone or Baclofen;
  • in peripheral lesions of the spine – an opioid medication (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone) or an NSAID (Diclofenac, Meloxicam).

Best pain reliever for oncological pain

Relief of chronic pain syndrome in patients with oncological diseases is the main task of opioid drugs. To date, oncologists have about 60 different narcotic drugs, each of which can become the best pain reliever for oncological pain.

Due to the optimal therapeutic characteristics, Tramadol is the drug of choice for the relief of oncological pain. Oral opioid has a central and peripheral analgesic effect, and enhances the effect of sedatives, as well.

The prescription of the drugs, based on their mode of administration, is one of the possible strategies for alleviating the suffering of cancer patients. The best pain reliever for oncological pain, other than Tramadol, may also be injectable Trimeperidine or transdermal Fentanyl.

Best pain reliever for headache

Even though headache is not a serious clinical problem, it is one of the frequent reasons for contacting therapists and general practitioners. The drugs of choice for the treatment of headache are NSAID, as well as Paracetamol.

Aspirin is more common, than any other NSAID used for headache pharmacotherapy. The mechanism of its analgesic action consists of two components:

  • peripheral – increasing the threshold of pain sensitivity
  • central – inhibition of pain impulses along the nervous pathways of the spinal cord

A significant disadvantage of Aspirin, like of any other NSAID, is the ceiling effect, that is, the upping of the dose above the therapeutic dose does not increase the analgesic effect, while the severity of adverse reactions increases significantly.

Paracetamol is another drug that, according to popular opinion, is the best pain reliever for headache. It is a non-narcotic drug. However, Paracetamol does not belong to the NSAID, although it has similar therapeutic properties.

The reasons why Paracetamol is the best pain reliever for headache:

  • can be used by all patients, regardless of age;
  • significantly limits the severity of pain syndrome, reduces the intensity of pain impulses;
  • significantly reduces the need for the use of strong analgesics, for example, opiates.

Causes of resistance to analgesia and ways to overcome it

Medications are not always able to relieve pain. Even if the attending physician prescribed the best pain reliever, the patient may not experience relief from emotional and physical suffering. The reasons why analgesic therapy may be ineffective:

  • development of tolerance (with the use of narcotic drugs);
  • progression of the underlying disease and increase in pain intensity;
  • disruption of the drug absorption, which can arise because of gastrointestinal tract disorders;
  • incorrect diagnosis, in which the attending physician did not take into account the patient’s somatic diseases (stomach ulcers, allergies and others).

The ineffectiveness of the analgesic therapy does not mean that the patient will always experience painful or unpleasant sensations of pain. There are several ways to revise and correct the dosing regimen of pain medications:

  • titration of the drug dose;
  • change of dosage forms (for example, tablets for injections);
  • smooth transition from a weak analgesic to a stronger one (for example, from NSAID to opiate);
  • combining the use of drugs with non-drug treatment of pain: massage, manual therapy, etc.
  • using drugs for adjuvant pain therapy: antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, etc.

Choosing the best pain reliever is a difficult task. When prescribing an analgesic, it is important to strike a balance between their efficacy and the risk of side effects, while in combined therapy, to consider the possibility of drug interactions.