Chronic pain medication is often the first treatment offered by your doctor when you are looking for relief. Control for chronic pain may be obtained by targeting the right types of drugs directed at treating the underlying problem and minimizing discomfort with different chronic pain medication and non-medicinal treatment. Unfortunately, it may take a lot of trial and error to find the right meds for you but controlling the pain is well worth it.
Another unfortunate issue that is on the rise in America is addictions to the prescribed chronic pain medication. It is a real and serious problem to which there is no easy solution. Nonetheless, pharmacological treatment is the only option for many who suffer with chronic pain.
Pharmacological treatments for Chronic Pain Medication may include the use of:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- long and short acting opioids
- psychotropic drugs (anti-convulsant and anti-depressant medication)
Chronic Pain Medication such as analgesic creams and topical treatments may also be prescribed:
Non-prescription medication includes herbal and homeopathy remedies and over counter medication such as aspirin and acetaminophen. Different medication suits different people, and may be prescribed in a combination of drugs. It is important to keep to the prescribed medication and not mix with over counter and other remedies as they may conflict with one another or even cause more harm to your health.
Acetaminophen (found in brands such as Tylenol® and other generic equivalents) is sold over the counter and may also be combined with codeine, by prescription only. When using drugs with codiene it is important to keep to the prescribed dose, as it can become habit forming.
NSAIDS for Chronic Pain Relief
NSAIDs are widely prescribed and may sometimes be called non-narcotic drugs. Meloxicam (Mobic) and celecoxib (Celebrex) are two types of NSAIDs commonly in use. They act by blocking enzymes, which create inflammatory responses in the body tissues. Ibuprofen, (also known as Advil or Motrin), which is available without prescription, is another NSAID.
Opioids, derived from the poppy plant, are amongst the oldest of drugs known to man. They include codeine and morphine. Opioids have a narcotic effect, inducing sedation as well as relief from pain, and some patients may become dependant on them, so usage is heavily monitored. They may be taken intravenously for short-term relief, or orally, topically or by suppository for long term relief.
Psychotropic drugs, such as anti- depressants, while often used for mood stabilizing and depression, also contain a substance which acts on the central nervous system. Amitriptyline (Elavil) is a well-known tricyclic anti-depressant used in pain relief. Anti-convulsants or anti-epilepsy drugs such as carbamazepine have long been used to control nerve pain.
Corticosteroids for Pain Relief
Corticosteroids, commonly called steroids, are drugs closely related to cortisol, a hormone produced in the outer layer of the adrenal gland. They act on the immune system, blocking the production of substances that trigger inflammatory reactions. Cortisone (Cortone) is a commonly used steroid.
Topical Pain Meds
Topical pain treatments include balms, gels, creams, lotions, ointment and patches. These can include a NSAID ingredient, counter irritants, capsaicin or an analgesic. They work in different ways by numbing pain, soothing with a hot or cold sensation or reducing inflammation.
Herbal and Homeopathic Pain Remedies
Using herbal or homeopathic remedies may also play a part in pain reduction. The herb Devils Claw acts on inflammation and pain when taken orally. Comfrey poultices may reduce swelling and pain. Homeopathic remedies such as Rhus Toxicodendron, Bryonia and Hypericum are all pain relieving remedies. Topical arnica as well as the oral version reduces pain and swelling.
Pain can be difficult to control but a carefully chosen combination of appropriate medication should assist greatly in chronic pain management.