What Are Painkillers


analgesia n. insesiblity to pain analgesic
1. adj. producing analgesia 2.n. a drug which does this

Painkillers, known as analgesics, relieve pain
without making a person unconscious. Almost everyone has used a painkiller in their
lifetime. The most commonly used analgesics are aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs
such as ibuprofen. In addition to these are salicylates and acetaminophen all of
which you can get over the counter in a drugstore.

Painkillers fall into two different categories, narcotic and nonnarcotic. The
nonnarcotic painkillers are the most used of all medications. These analgesics not
only control pain but they can lower fever and stop inflammation, or swelling due
to injury or arthritis. The narcotic painkillers that are most used are codeine,
meperidine (Demerol) and morphine. These drugs are used on a short-term basis, normally
during an operation. Painkillers from the opium family, opiates and opioids are normally
only used for severe pain.

Over the counter medication contains no narcotic ingrediants. Many prescription
painkillers have a combination of narcotic and nonnarctoic elements for example here is Tramadol narcotic. Common combinations
are acetaminophen and codein (Tylenol with Codeine) etc. These drugs are used where
nonnarcotic medicine do not adequately alleviate the pain etc.

Harmful Side-effects

Many painkillers have the ability to cause adverse reactions, especially
if taken with other drugs or in excess of the amount suggested. Taking too much of
any drug, even aspirin, can be harmful. Bleeding problems are among the most common
of the serious side effects which may occur. Please pay careful attention to dosage
and ask your doctor before taking medications together.

Alternative Treatments

Pain therapy can take many forms in addition or in liue of the normal
use of analgesics. Consider using some of the homeopathic remedies listed in the
main article and in books and journals commonly available in your bookstore. Consult
your doctor before mixing medications or starting on a new pain allieving regiment.
Alternative pain remedies include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Biofeedback
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation training
  • Yoga

Self-treatment is an option. If you suffer from a chronic pain disorder such as
arthritis, you may have years of experience, through trial and error how to best
deal with the pain. Consider using exercise to increase the level of natural painkillers
in your body. We each produce endorphins, which are chemicals that sooth achy muscles
and act as painkillers. You may want to look into materials and products which correct
your posture at work and at home to elimitate difficulties arising from cramped conditions
and poor blood-flow to your extremities. In all cases please carefully follow instructions,
and before you set off on a radical path consult a physician.


The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary

of the English Language page 32.

Home Health Handbook: Treatments

and Alternatives Group 17 page 81.