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Medicines for Pain

Medicines can ease some pain, prevent swelling, and treat related problems. More than one medicine may be used. Medicines may be changed as you feel better, or if they cause side effects.

Medicine

How it works

Possible side effects

Analgesics (non-opioid and NSAID)

Minimizes feelings of pain. Used for mild to moderate pain. May prevent joint and soft tissue inflammation.

Nausea, stomach pain, ulcers, indigestion, diarrhea, bleeding, kidney or liver problems

Opioids

A type of analgesic. Minimizes feelings of pain. Used for moderate to severe pain.

Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, constipation, slowed breathing

Other medicines (steroids, antiemetics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants)

Reduce swelling, burning, or tingling pain. Limit certain side effects of pain medicines.

Ask your healthcare provider for the possible side effects of these medicines

Anesthetics

Stops pain signals from reaching the brain. They block all feeling in the treated area.

Nausea, low blood pressure, fever, slowed breathing, fainting, seizures, heart attack

When to call the healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away (or have a family member call) if you have:

  • Unrelieved pain

  • Side effects, including constipation or uncontrolled nausea, that get in the way of daily activities

  • Extreme sleepiness or breathing problems

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 6/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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