Chronic pain medications are lawfully prescribed by healthcare professionals. The use pain relievers and other medicines are the basis of chronic pain management. However, as with all medications, what works for one patient may not work for another person.
In fact, for some people, pain medications may actually worsen their symptoms over time, or worse, they could lead to dangerous side effects.
Classes of Pain Medications
There are essentially four major classes of medications used in the treatment of chronic pain. These are:
- Non-opioids - This includes aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen.
- Opioids - Also called narcotics, these include hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and others.
- Adjuvant analgesics - These medications are used to treat conditions other than pain, but have been found to be beneficial for the treatment of pain. Examples include anticonvulsants and antidepressants.
- Other - These medicines have no direct pain-relieving properties, but are often used to treat associated conditions (anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, etc.).