List of Common Pain Killers

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that may become discomforting at higher intensities. The common sites or origin of pain are back, eye, face, stomach, joint pain, tongue etc. The triggered pain can be of different types like severe, moderate or even mild. Several types of pain killers are available in the market to get rid of the pain. Painkillers are available in pharmacy either as over the counter drugs but some may require prescription from a medical doctor. Below is the list of common painkillers, both over the counter and prescribed, as well as their effects, potency and side effects.

List of Painkillers

General Guideline

  • Pain killers which are NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) works on the patho-physiological processes that elicit pain, fever and other signs of inflammation in the body.
  • Corticosteroids pain killers are usually given for the management of musculoskeletal injuries due to its effect on shutting down inflammation causing processes.
  • The pain which is triggered by any damaged or sensitive nerves (see most commonly in cases like sciatica or shingles) is usually managed by nerve blockers or anti-depressants. These tablets have the capacity to modulate the perception of pain by central nervous system.
  • Some pain- killers are used as muscle relaxants to decreases the intensity of pain triggered by the muscles group. This pain killer act as sedative for central nervous system.
  • Reason behind consuming medication is to improve the quality of life. It is important to realize that every pain killer is associated with some side effects in short term or long term. Therefore it is advised to learn and identify potential disadvantages before consuming any painkiller.

Following are the descriptions of some meds that will be mentioned on this list of painkillers:

Paracetamol

It is one of the popular pain killers available (mainly used for the management of common headaches and non nerve pains). The effective dose is 2 tablets which can be consumed at least 4 times a day (or at every 6 hrs interval). This dose and dosing regimen is considered safe for adults. There are no common side effects for this medication and this drug can be used for longer time period. However overdose of paracetamol can trigger some serious side effects; therefore it is highly recommended not to increase the dosage if the intensity of pain increases. If pain symptoms fail to resolve within three days, consult the general physician.

Ibuprofen

A list of painkillers with ibuprofen is not complete. This drug is a type of NSAIDs i.e. non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. It works best on inflammation causing substances in a same way it is used for treating arthritis or any injury. This drug is not allowed to be used for longer time periods unless the inflammation doesn’t disappear. If this drug is consumed for longer time periods, it can lead to serious side effects like bleeding, stomach upset, heart problems and kidney problems. It is highly advised not to consume overdose of this drug as it can trigger serious consequences.

Codeine

This drug doesn’t work well alone but can give far better results when used with paracetamol in a single formulation. Over the counter drugs are available under the label of co-codamol (which is paracetamol combined with lower quantity of codeine). Higher potency of codeine should only be used on doctor’s prescription. Some other painkillers with higher potency include Zydol (tramadol) and dihydrocodeine.

Drugs under this category are considered as habit-forming or addictive. The reason behind is these drugs makes a person feel unwell for a short time period when stop consuming. If for any particular reason this drug is consumed for longer time period then consult your general physician for advice.

Amitriptyline and Gabapentin

Gabapentin is the drug used for treating epilepsy and amitriptyline medication and is used for treating depression. Both of the drugs are also given to patients for treating pain triggered by damaged or hyper-sensitive nerves which includes sciatica, shingles or nerve pain caused by diabetes. This medication is consumed when prescribed by the general physician. Side effects of both the drugs include dizziness and drowsiness.

Morphine

This drug is considered as powerful and strongest pain killers available. Some other drugs fall under this category include fentanyl, buprenorphine and Oxycodone. It is advised to reserve the use of this pain killer only in severe pain. These medications are only consumed when prescribed by pain specialist or general physician as the doctor will monitor the progress on dosage potency. These drugs are usually used for long term to administer the pain.

The following table gives a list of painkillers with more OTC and prescribed medications:

OTC Pain Killers

Brand Name

Generic Name

Per Pill Dose

Strength

Best Uses

Bufferin

Bayer

Anacin
Ecotrin

Aspirin (also classified under
NSAIDs or acetylsalicylic acid)

81 mg

325 mg

1

Helpful for the management of pains and minor aches

Excedrin

Anacin

Tylenol

Acetaminophen
L374 caplet

500 mg

2

Treat fever, can be used instead of aspirin if a person is allergic to salicylates or aspirin, given to arthritis patients, treat rheumatism and musculo-skeletal issues

Vanquish

Combination of acetaminophen and aspirin (NSAID)

325 mg

500 mg

2.25

Given for the acute management of headache

Nuprin

Advil
Motrin

Ibuprofen
NSAID

44 291 tablet

200 mg

2.5

Treat muscle aches and fever

Naproxen

Aleve

naproxen sodium
(one of the very potent and powerful anti-inflammatory agents)
NSAID

 

220 mg

3

Prescribe mainly for the management of arthritis pain and inflammation. It is also effective for other
musculo-skeletal ailments

Motrin 800

Ibuprofen
(effectively used as an antipyretic, and analgesic).
Classified under NSAIDs

220 mg

800 mg

3.5

Treat rheumatism, arthritis and musculo-skeletal issues

Prescription Pain Killers

Brand Name

Generic Name

Per Pill Dose

Strength

Best Uses

Problems Caused

Celebrex

Celecoxib
(COX-2 inhibitor)
NSAID

100 mg

200 mg

3.7*

Rheumatoid, osteoarthritis and other sources of acute pain in addition to menstruation pain

Moderately increase the risk of bleeding in stomach, stroke and
heart attack

Ultram

Tramadol

50 mg

3.8*

Gives relief from moderate pain

Constipation, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache and vomiting

* NOTE: when the study is conducting Ultram and Celebrex does not exist. Their scores are an estimation

Demerol

Meperidine HCl

50 mg

100 mg

4

Opiates drug and synthetic opiates drugs are considered as the most powerful pain killers, but their use is abuse as all these drugs can make a person habitual of it.

 

 

Including large quantity of Tylenol (acetaminophen) with these drugs is prohibited for pharmaceutical companies and the reason behind is its overdose can totally destroys liver.

 

 

NOTE:
** The strength of Norco is an estimation as it does not exist while study was conducting.

Lorcet

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

5 mg to

500 mg

5

Vicodin

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

5 mg to

500 mg

5

Lorcet Plus

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

7.5 mg to

650 mg

5.5

Vicodin ES

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

7.5 mg to

750 mg

6

Norco

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone-APAP

5 mg to 325 mg
10 mg to 325 mg

6.5**

Lortab

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

10 mg to 500 mg

7

Vicodin HP

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone

10 mg to 660 mg

7

Percocet

Acetaminophen and oxycodone HCl

2.5 mg to 650 mg

7

Oxycodone is considered as powerful and very effective.

NOTE: The strength of oxycodone is an estimation as it does not exist when study was conducted

Percodan

Aspirin, oxycodone, terephthalate oxycodone HCl

325 mg
4.50 mg
0.38 mg

7

Oxycontin 40

Oxycodone HCl

40 mg

8.5

MS Contin RMS

Morphine

sulfate

15 mg

30mg

60mg

100 mg

9

It is considered as the 4th most powerful drug available.

Fentora Duragesic
Actiq

Fentanyl

Lollipop or Skin patch

10

The strength of fentanyl is the result of an estimate since it was not developed when study was conducted. It is a powerful substance for treating fragmentation and gunshot wounds. The overdosage is associated with serious side effects and consequences. It is highly recommended to handle fentanyl carefully as mishandling can lead to death due to respiratory depression.

Palladone

(caps)

Dilaudid (tabs)

Hydromorphone
hydrochloride

1 mg

2 mg

3 mg

4 mg

11

Dilaudid is considered as more effective as compared to morphine with some serious side effects

 
 
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