Pain relievers are medications or remedies used to treat arthritis, sore muscles, headaches, and other aches and pains. Analgesics are another name for them. These medications function by preventing pain from being perceived by the brain and other receptors by preventing pain signals from being processed. This can be accomplished by modifying the brain’s perception or intercepting and preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. Several different types of pain relievers act differently, are more sensitive than others, and come with their own set of risks and benefits. Opioids, anticonvulsant medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophens, corticosteroids, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and muscle relaxants are some of the medicines available. Acetaminophens usually increase the body’s pain threshold to make one sustain more pain without feeling it. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on the other hand, act on the pain causing substance in the body hence preventing pain. Muscle relaxants reduce pain from the tense muscle groups by acting on the Central Nervous System. Opioids, on the other hand, modify the pain messages to the brain so that they can be interpreted differently. Antidepressants work by reducing the pain transmission through the spinal cord. Lastly, Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can be taken either orally or administered at the site of the injuries.
My pain reliever choice is the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, popularly known as NSAIDs due to their wide range of choices. These drugs are very useful in the treatment of lupus, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, leg pain, joint pain, menstrual cramps, wrist pains, back and shoulder pain, orofacial pain, ear and eye pains, headaches, and muscle pains.
The most common NSAIDs include naproxens such as Aleve, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and aspirin among others. Another new drug is the Celebrex or Celecoxib that is a COX-2 inhibitor and is mostly used to treat stomach upsets.
These drugs work by blocking enzymes responsible for prostaglandins production (prostaglandins are responsible for pain in the body). These Prostaglandins are usually produced by the COX enzymes which belong to the COX-1 and COX-2 categories. The various types of NSAIDs drugs have a similar mode of operation but often differ in their duration of action and potency. They also have different side effects. Different individuals often respond well to different types of the drug. As the drugs’ main mode of operation is blocking the COX enzymes, they are known to increase the risk of bleeding as they may cause ulcers in the intestine and stomach linings. The drugs may also cause liver or kidney problems, abdominal pains, nausea, high blood pressure, skin rashes, dizziness, drowsiness, and stomach upsets.
The drugs are responsible for about a quarter of all adverse drug reactions. They are responsible for a substantial increase in gastrointestinal hemorrhages. The drugs may, therefore, not be advisable for people suffering from stomach problems as they may bleed more easily.
In conclusion, pain relievers are the drugs responsible for relieving pain in the body either by inhibiting the processing of pain in the brain or by preventing the pain signals from reaching there. There are many types of the pain relievers that often function in different ways and with different risks and benefits. The most common drugs, the NSAIDs are responsible for inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, making sure that pain is not felt in the body. Their major downside is that they may cause bleeding in the intestines and the stomach linings.
EmedExpert (n.d). Pain Medications. Retrieved on October 14, 2017 from http://www.emedexpert.com/compare/pain-medications.shtml
NLM (n.d). Pain Relievers: MedlinePlus.Retrieved on October 14, 2017 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/painrelievers.html
XRLIST (n.d). Pain Relievers. Retrieved on October 14, 2017 from http://www.rxlist.com/pain_medications/drugs-condition.htm