Common Pain Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers

para-acetylaminophenol (Acetaminophen / Paracetamol/APAP): it works on the parts of the brain that receive the pain messages. Too much of this medicine (more than 4,000mg per day) can cause lever damage.
Tylenol® USA, Calpol® UK, Panadol® Australia, Citamol ® India-Nepal

NSAIDs : Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs block the COX enzymes and reduce prostaglandins throughout the body. As a consequence, ongoing inflammation, pain, and fever are reduced. Since the prostaglandins that protect the stomach and support platelets and blood clotting also are reduced, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the stomach and promote bleeding. Using NSAIDs also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney problems.

> ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, Brufen:UK-India)
> naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®)
> Aspirin : (Bayer Aspirin®)

Mixed (Acetaminophen & NSAIDs etc)
> Midol®: used for menstrual cramps
> Brucet® India

Topical (creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain from sore muscles and arthritis.)

> Lidocaine (Aspercreme®): used to treat minor aches and pains of the muscles/joints, foot etc.  It works by causing a temporary loss of feeling in the area where you apply the patch.

> Menthol and methyl salicylate (Ben-Gay®, Icy Hot® balms or heat rubs): The ingredients cause a cooling sensation followed by a warming sensation that distracts patients from the pain by blocking pain signals sent to the brain.

> Capzasin-P : Capsaicin is the stuff in chili peppers that makes your mouth feel hot. When you put this on skin, It helps block pain messages to your nerves. Side effects: Redness and swelling, Soreness, Dryness, Burning and itching, Pain.

Prescription Pain Relievers

* Opioids: Opioids are often used for acute pain, such as short-term pain after surgery. Opioids are narcotic pain medications that contain natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic opiates (a drug derived from opium).  Side effects: Drowsiness, Nausea, Constipation, Itching, Breathing problems, Addiction.

> Fentanyl
> Codeine

* Corticosteroids: When used to control pain, they are generally given in the form of pills or injections that target a certain joint. Prescription corticosteroids are strong medicines. Side effects: Weight gain, Upset stomach, Headache, Mood changes, Trouble sleeping, Weakened immune system, Thinning of the bones

> prednisone
> prednisolone
> methylprednisolone

* Antidepressants: can treat pain and/or emotional conditions by adjusting levels of neurotransmitters (natural chemicals) in the brain. Side effects: Blurry vision, Constipation, Difficulty urinating, Dry mouth, Fatigue, Nausea, Headache.

> Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)
> Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), and nortriptyline (Pamelor)
> Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta)

* Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications): typically used to treat seizure. Some can treat pain as well.  The exact way in which these medicines control pain is unclear. Drowsiness, Dizziness, Fatigue, Nausea.

> carbamazepine (Tegretol)
> gabapentin (Neurontin)
> pregabalin (Lyrica).

* Lidocaine (Lidoderm) patches
* Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Therapy: electrical stimulation used for pain management for short-term pain relief.
* Intra-discal electrothermal therapy (IDET) used for low back pain resulting from intervertebral disc problems. Heat is used to modify the nerve fibers of a spinal disc and to destroy pain receptors in the certain area.

10 most Addictive Pain Medications

Fentanyl / Opioid (brand names: Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze)

Oxycodone / Opioid (brand: OxyContin)

Morphine / Opioid (brand : Duramorph and MS Contin)

Codeine / Opioid

Meperidine (brand: Demerol)

Hydrocodone (brand: Vicodin, Norco, Zohydro etc)

Percocet (combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone)

Methadone (brand: Dolophine, Methadose)

hydromorphone (brand: Dilaudid)

Oxymorphone (brand: Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone)