Pain medications can be used in many ways. Depending on your situation and the type of pain, you may take medications:
- to help break the pain cycle;
- at times when pain is more intense than usual;
- for daily relief;
- before activities that tend to trigger pain; and
- to decrease sensitivity to pain and help you sleep.
NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen treat both pain and inflammation.
These are taken for pain when there is not inflammation.
Cox-2 Inhibitors are NSAIDs that may be easier on the stomach.
Codeine and related medications may be used to treat break-through pain or severe chronic pain.
Antidepressants are often used in low doses for sleep problems, even for people who are not depressed. They may be also prescribed if you have heightened sensitivity to pain.
These are sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain.
Medications that are applied to the skin to treat pain in one location.
Painful muscle spasms may be treated with muscle relaxants.