Analgesics | Varieties
Analgesics | Varieties
In simple terms, analgesic means painkillers (Painkillers Wiki Page). Commonly used for pain relief, analgesic drugs work by interacting with the peripheral and central nervous systems to block pain signals and achieve analgesia. Analgesics inhibit the signals from reaching the brain and producing pain sensations. These are primarily divided into the following analgesic types:
- opiates/opioids or narcotic analgesics
- non-narcotic analgesics
While you need a doctor’s prescription to obtain opiates, non-opioid analgesics are easily available over the counter. The drugs that fall under narcotic category are heavily regulated.
NSAID | Over The Counter Analgesics
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), including aspirin, ibuprofen, are available in chemist shops and do not require a doctor’s prescription. These drugs not only relieve pain, aches, and discomfort from everyday conditions, but also suppress inflammation in acute rheumatism while reducing fever.
Acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin belongs to the NSAID group. This type of analgesic controls or reduces the risk of abnormal blood clot formation.
- Paracetamol is used by patients suffering from high fever. The analgesic is used for fever reduction. Unlike aspirin, paracetamol does not help much with inflammatory problems.
- Codeine is used for treating mild-to-moderate pain. An opioid analgesic, codeine is a group of drugs that includes doses of morphine, methadone, and pethidine. The drug also helps in treatment for cough and diarrhea, besides pain.
Analgesics | Neurological Analgesia
These medications are primarily used for treating neurologic or psychiatric conditions. These also used for relieving neuropathic pain that does not require any external pain triggers. Neuropathic analgesia drugs include.
- Amitriptyline – used as an antidepressant
- Gabapentin – used as an anticonvulsant
Also known as narcotics (Narcotics Side Effects), opioids bind opioid receptors in the nervous system to relieve pain while producing the effect of analgesia. Common opioids include oxycodone and morphine, which provide relief from severe pain. As strong analgesics, narcotics are known to be addictive for some patients and are used only in those suffering from too severe pain. All opioids /narcotic analgesics are prescription medications and thus are not available over the counter. The doctor may prescribe a narcotic analgesic for post-surgery pain management.
Analgesics | Anesthetic Nerve Blockade
Sometimes a nerve blockade can help alleviate or relief pain. Doctors administer anesthetic drug lidocaine into a nerve branch to desensitize the painful part of the body and relieve pain.
Unlike other analgesic types, topical analgesics are applied topically at the site of inflammation or pain. The gel helps alleviate inflammation symptoms often linked to mild arthritic and muscular pain.