Severe Pain Relief Medication

Pain medicines are called analgesics and include pills, patches, creams and sprays. The best-known are the over-the-counter drugs ibuprofen and naproxen, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

These reduce swelling and block pain messages to your brain. They’re useful for sprains, headaches and other everyday aches and pains. Stronger medication may be needed for more persistent pain, including opiates.


Opioids are natural or semi-synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors in the body and brain to reduce the intensity of pain signals. They also produce euphoria and can lead to addiction. This class of drugs includes illegal heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and pain medications available by prescription, such as hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.

These medicines are used to treat moderate-to-severe short-term acute pain, such as after surgery or for cancer. They are not recommended for long-term pain or pain due to nerve damage, as they do not improve the quality of life, nor reduce the risk of dependency and overdose.

They are also associated with a number of side effects including constipation, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Some patients may develop a tolerance to opioids, meaning that they need higher doses of the medicine to achieve the same effect and increase the risk of addiction.

People who are addicted to opioids compulsively seek these pills, often despite negative consequences in their lives and at work. They may steal or buy them from the street, where they are often laced with lethal amounts of fentanyl or other drugs. They may also take their own pills or snort them. Addiction to opioids is serious and requires help from a trained doctor. Optimal treatment requires questionnaires to stratify the risk for addiction and monitoring compliance with the medication. Future developments may offer functionally selective agonists with less addiction potential, thereby enhancing the risk-benefit ratio.


NSAIDs, which also include aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, reduce pain and fever by reducing inflammation. They are used to treat mild to moderate pain and sprains. However, they are unlikely to improve the underlying problem that’s causing the pain or sprain. They are available over the counter, and come in different forms such as films you place under your tongue to dissolve, liquids that go into a syringe and are injected into your body or patches you stick to your skin. Also, they are found as pills, tablets or capsules you swallow. They are also available as a combination painkiller that combines two types of pain relief medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

Depending on the type of NSAID, they work in different ways. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) blocks pain signals in the brain, while NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, work by lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation. These medications are usually recommended for short-term use.

However, if you take them over a long period of time, they can increase the risk of stomach problems like ulcers and bleeding. NSAIDs can also irritate the kidneys, liver and heart. If you have any of these conditions, they should be avoided. You should always speak to your doctor before taking any pain reliever. They will help you determine if they are safe for you and how much to take and how often.


Codeine is an opioid pain reliever that acts by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It also reduces coughing by decreasing the activity in the part of the brain that causes it. It is available as a single-ingredient medication and in combination with other medications. It is used to treat mild to moderate pain and is usually taken orally. It can also be given by injection.

It is important to note that this medication can cause side effects, including drowsiness. It is best not to drive or operate machinery while taking it. It is also recommended to avoid alcohol and other depressants while taking it. Children should be closely monitored for signs of drowsiness and other side effects. It is not suitable for breastfeeding mothers.

This medication may be habit-forming, especially with prolonged use. It is recommended to take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks large amounts of alcohol, uses street drugs, or takes prescription or non-prescription medicines that may affect how quickly codeine is absorbed.

Codeine interacts with many different medications and can cause dangerous side effects. It is recommended to let your doctor know about all medications you are taking before starting this one. Unused medicine should be disposed of properly, and never flushed down a toilet. It is harmful to the environment and could be a danger to others.


Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is used to treat severe pain, especially after surgery. It is 50 – 100 times stronger than heroin and morphine, and can be fatal if taken improperly. It is often mixed with other drugs and sold on the dark web. Illegal fentanyl has been linked to many drug overdose deaths in the US.

People who misuse fentanyl usually take it at much higher doses than prescribed by doctors. They also mix it with other drugs and may not follow dosage instructions carefully. This can lead to serious side effects, including slow and ineffective breathing, lethargy, sedation, drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and heart attack. Long-term use can also worsen pain and cause psychological problems.

If you are taking fentanyl, do not drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you. It can make you dizzy and drowsy, and it can be dangerous to get up quickly from a lying position. You should also avoid alcohol and other sedatives while taking this medication.

Always keep fentanyl out of the reach of children, and store it in a secure place. It is best to dispose of unused medications through a medicine take-back program. Keeping old or unwanted medicines around can be dangerous to children and pets, and it is illegal in some places. Putting them in the trash can also be harmful to the environment.


Hydrocodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It is usually prescribed for severe pain that cannot be controlled by other medications or treatments. Like other opioids, hydrocodone is addictive and can cause serious side effects if not taken correctly. It is also a schedule 2 drug, which means that it has the potential to be misused.

To help prevent these side effects, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take more or less of the medication, and do not take it at a different time than instructed. It is also important to tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use street drugs while taking hydrocodone. This can increase your risk of serious side effects, including slowed or stopped breathing.

If you take extended-release capsules or tablets, it is important to swallow them whole. Do not break, crush or chew them, as this can cause uncontrolled release of medication and overdose. It is also important to avoid drinking any liquids or eating food while taking hydrocodone, as this can lead to stomach irritation.

It is important to talk with your doctor before you start this medication if you have any medical conditions, especially heart disease or liver or kidney problems. It is also important to let your doctor know if you have any other health problems, such as asthma or a blockage or narrowing in the stomach or intestines.


Hydromorphone is a powerful opioid analgesic, which can reduce moderate to severe pain in patients. This drug works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to increase pain tolerance and decrease sensations. It is available as a liquid, a tablet, and an extended-release pill to be taken by mouth. It is generally used for short-term treatment, but can be used longer if needed.

This medication may cause drowsiness. It is important to avoid drinking alcohol or taking other drugs that can increase drowsiness while taking this drug. This can lead to a dangerous overdose. It is also important to tell your doctor if you have any other health problems or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Your doctor will start you on a low dose of this medication and then gradually increase it to a level that relieves your pain without causing unacceptable side effects. This process is known as titration. It is recommended that you take this medication around the same time each day, and do not exceed the prescribed dosage.

In addition to being an effective medication for pain, hydromorphone can also be helpful in managing agitation and anxiety. It can be used in combination with other medications to treat psychiatric disorders. However, it should not be combined with antidepressants or benzodiazepines. These drugs can increase the sedating effect of hydromorphone, leading to addiction.