Health & Medical

4 Most Common Types of Painkillers You Should Know About

A person holding pain killers

Minor aches and pain associated with conditions like colds, fever, flu, headaches, and menstrual cramps and hinder your daily functioning and hamper your productivity in school or at work. Popping a pain killer can help you get through the day.

However, if you’re not sure which pain killer is most effective for your current condition, here’s a rundown of the five groups pain killers are categorized into:

Non-opioid painkillers

Paracetamol is a common example of non-opioid painkillers. Some can be easily found at various pharmacies while other non-opioid painkillers require a prescription.

Paracetamol

It’s not common to have a side effect with paracetamol. However, high doses of paracetamol can compromise the functioning of the liver. Some other forms of medication can also have paracetamol, so you should be aware of it before taking paracetamol separately.

Aspirin

Aspirin is a go-to painkiller for moderate pain. The elderly need to be careful while using it and people with breathing difficulties, blood conditions, and liver problems should also abstain from using high doses of aspirin.

Anti-inflammatory drugs

Ibuprofen or naproxen are examples of anti-inflammatory drugs. They are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some of these drugs require a prescription, while others don’t.

Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is mostly used for pain and inflammation. It’s an NSAID and can be found in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid, spray, gel, and cream.

Compound painkillers

Compound painkillers are a combination of two different drugs. This type of painkiller has NSAID or opioid painkiller combined with a non-opioid painkiller. These include co-codamol (a combination of combined paracetamol and codeine). People can become addicted to compound painkillers if they don’t take controlled amounts.

Opioid painkillers

Opioid painkillers are prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol, buprenorphine, morphine, and oxycodone are examples of opioids.

They can be found in the form of tablets, liquids, and patches. Prescription is necessary for a powerful painkiller. These include codeine, tramadol, and morphine. Only people with a prescription can get opioid painkillers.

Side effects of opioid painkillers include:

  • Sickness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems

Pills out of a jar

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About the author

Nancy

I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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