Pain Relief Medicines: What You Need to Know

What is Pain?

Pain is more than just an unpleasant sensation. It can have an impact on how you feel in general. It may also contribute to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The severity of your pain might reveal a lot to your doctor about your general health. Acute pain usually comes on swiftly, within days or weeks. 

Chronic pain persists. Chronic pain is defined as discomfort that lasts more than three months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At-home treatments and prescriptions are available, as are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and invasive procedures such as surgery.

Types of Pain

There are 2 basic types of pain: Nociceptive and Neuropathic

Nociceptive pain is a protective response of the nervous system. It causes you to move your hand away from a hot burner to avoid being burned. A sprained ankle forces you to rest and allow time for the ailment to heal.

Neuropathic pain is distinct in that there are no recognised benefits. It could be caused by a miscommunication between your nerves and your brain or spinal cord. It could also be due to nerve injury. The brain interprets erroneous nerve signals as pain.

What are Pain Killers & How they Work

Painkillers are medications used to relieve pain. There are many different types of pain relief medication available in pharmacy store, all with different brand names. They can be taken from the mouth in the form of liquids, pills, or capsules, through injection or as suppositories, through the back tube (rectum).

Some pain relievers come in creams, ointments, or patches.

Despite the enormous number of painkillers on the market, there are just three main categories. They are:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) (NSAIDS) -Ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen are examples of NSAIDs. Aspirin is also a form of NSAID only. However, it is most commonly administered to prevent blood clotting, such as in persons who have already had a heart attack.

How it Works: NSAIDs work by inhibiting (stopping) the action of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes, which are chemicals. COX enzymes aid in the production of prostaglandins, which are other substances. Several prostaglandins are involved in the development of pain and inflammation at sites of injury or damage. When prostaglandin synthesis is inhibited, both pain and inflammation are reduced.

  1. Paracetamol – Different forms of painkillers, such as paracetamol and codeine, are occasionally combined into one pill (co-codamol).

How it Works: No one is quite certain how paracetamol works. It works by preventing COX enzymes from forming in the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Paracetamol is said to be the best pain reliever and fever reducer. However, it does not help with inflammation.

  1. Strong and weak opioids (sometimes called opiates) – Codeine and dihydrocodeine are examples of weak opioids. Although they are generally referred to as “weak opioids,” they are incredibly effective analgesics that are frequently used to treat severe pain. However, they can cause significant addiction and harmful consequences, so they should not be used lightly. Morphine, oxycodone, pethidine, and tramadol are examples of powerful opioids. Many people who require powerful opioids are hospitalised.

How it Works: Opioids operate by connecting to receptors in your central nervous system, intestines, and other regions of your body called opioid receptors. This lessens your pain perception and response while also raising your pain tolerance.

Side effects of Pain Killers 


Most persons who take anti-inflammatories experience minimal or moderate negative effects in the near term. When used correctly, the benefit typically overcomes any potential risks. Many people, in particular, take an anti-inflammatory for a short period of time to treat a variety of painful diseases. However, negative effects, including potentially fatal unfavourable effects, can occur. These include stomach and gut haemorrhage, as well as cardiovascular issues.


If you do not exceed the maximum advised dose, this is a safe drug with few side effects. If you take too much paracetamol, though, it can be very harmful (overdose). Overdosing on paracetamol can happen by accident, but some people do it on purpose. The primary issue with taking too much paracetamol is that it might permanently damage your liver and cause death.


Following are the most prevalent side effects which can result after taking opioids: 

  • Feeling unwell (nausea) and being sick (vomiting)
  • Constipation.
  • Dryness in Mouth

Opioids might also make you drowsy and confused. Some people become addicted to opioid painkillers after becoming tolerant of them (requiring more to achieve the same effect).

Who cannot consume Painkillers?

It is quite rare for someone to be unable to take pain relief medication. You may be unable to take a painkiller if you have already had a major side effect or an allergic reaction to a certain type of painkiller. Even if this occurs, your doctor will most likely be able to prescribe an alternative sort of painkiller that you can take.

Children under the age of 16 should not take aspirin since they run the risk of acquiring Reye’s syndrome (very rare).

Save & Deliver Liverpool
Save & Deliver Liverpool

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