Things you need to know about painkillers

Painkillers, as their name suggests, are used to reduce the pain and inflammation. Pain can occur in certain conditions such as due to surgery, due to injury or due to any other reason. So painkillers are used to reduce pain in such conditions. There are two different types of painkillers.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Opioid analgesics

What are NSAIDs?

These are known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and these are used in occasional pains. These are also known as over the counter drugs so these can be prescribed without medications. These medicine act as the Cox 1 and Cox 2 inhibitors. Some of these drugs are cox 1 inhibitor and some are cox 2 inhibitors and some are non-selective cox inhibitors it means that they block both.

Examples of NSAIDs:

There are different types of NSAIDs some of these NSAIDs are: aspirin, Celecoxib, diclofenac sodium, diclofenac potassium, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, indomethacin, naproxen sodium, piroxicam, sulindac, tolmetin and oxaprozin. Some of these are general pain killers such as aspirin and some are given in specific conditions.

Conditions treated by NSAIDs:

Aspirin is also used as pain killer and it is also to reduce blood clotting. Dispirin is the most common brand of aspirin.

Ketorolac is used for short term treatment. It treats moderate to severe pains.

Indomethacin is suggested in the pain related to hyperurecimia.


There is another type of painkiller which are known as opioids. These are found in the opium plant and these act on the brain so these give soothing effect to our body. But unlike NSAIDs these are prescription medicines because these medicines cause dizziness. These medicines also cause tolerance and dependence so monitoring is required with the use of these medicines. These drugs bind with the opioid receptors which are found in the nervous system. These receptors are of three types such as mu, kappa and delta.

Examples of opioids:

These are also known as narcotics drugs so these are included in Register A due to their side effects. These drugs include opium, heroine, oxycodone, tramadol, morphine, fentanyl and hydromorphone.

Conditions treated by opioids:

Morphine is naturally obtained drug and it is used to treat both acute and chronic pain. It also has sedative effect.

Fentanyl is also used to treat chronic pain but it is suggested to those persons who are allergenic to other opioids.


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