A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine
If you've ever been treated for severe pain from surgery, an injury, or an illness, you know just how vital pain relief medications can be.
Pain relief treatments come in many forms and potencies, are available by prescription or over the counter (OTC), and treat all sorts of physical pain— including that brought on by chronic conditions, sudden trauma, and cancer.
Pain relief medicines (also known as analgesics and painkillers) are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some analgesics, including opioid analgesics, act on the body's peripheral and central nervous systems to block or decrease sensitivity to pain. Others act by inhibiting the formation of certain chemicals in the body.
Among the factors health care professionals consider in recommending or prescribing them are the cause and severity of the pain.