Pain relief is a set of over-the-counter medication used as a way to alleviate the symptoms that are related to pain. Also called analgesics, pain relief medication gives the relief you may need to keep your everyday tasks and responsibilities going even while having a migraine or body aches. This kind of medication is an irreplaceable tool that should be used responsibly.
The type and dose of the medication you are taking will be an important factor to ensure your safety and health when using it. Some types may also require you to eat a meal or a snack before intake to ensure that the medicine will not cause any irritation in the digestive system. Maintenance medicine may react with some pain relief medication so it is important to consult a medical professional to find out which type is right for you.
Improving Mood and Productivity Through Pain Relief
Pain relief medication can be helpful when dealing with all sorts of pain. Some of these can include arthritic pain, headaches, toothaches, earaches, back pain, and even pain after surgery. Some of these medications also treat the pain felt when experiencing a cold, flu, sinusitis, or a store throat.
2 Main Types of OTC Pain Relief
There are many brands available in the market that provide pain relief and understanding the active chemical components in these medications may help you resolve your next symptoms of pain better than before.
There are 2 main types of OTC (over-the-counter) pain relief medication: Acetaminophen and NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.
Acetaminophen, and often known in the public as Paracetamol, works by inhibiting the reception of pain messages to the brain. It also works with the part of the brain that controls our body temperature.
Moreover, acetaminophen is mainly used to relieve headaches, ease pains and common aches, and treat arthritis and other chronic pain conditions in the body. This medication does not reduce inflammation unlike other pain relief medicines do albeit having fewer side effects. This makes Acetaminophen a better choice for children and for long-term use.
Sometimes, this medication can lead to liver damage, although it is mostly attributed to those who take too much or take this while drinking alcohol. A maximum of 3,000 mg per day of Acetaminophen should be taken by an adult; which is about 6 extra-strength 500 mg tablets. Apart from this, refrain from taking Acetaminophen if you have a severe liver or kidney disease, have had 3 or more alcoholic drinks in a day, or are already taking another product containing the same component.
NSAIDs reduce the level of a hormone-like substance that irritates the nerve endings and creates the feeling of pain. Reducing the levels of this substance called prostaglandins reduces the feeling of pain.
It is helpful to use NSAIDs when trying to reduce fever, relieve pain caused by muscle aches and stiffness, relieve menstrual cramps, and reduce and ease pain from swelling or inflammation, such as with muscle spasms.
According to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), NSAIDs cannot be taken more than 10 days without seeing a medical professional because of its side effects. Some of these include an upset stomach and bruising or risk of bleeding in the stomach, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, kidney damage, and skin reactions. NSAIDs are not advised to be taken by children and teenagers younger than 18 because of these side effects.
Pain can be an impediment in our daily life causing us to slow down or stop. With pain relief medication, we are able to do more while alleviating the symptoms we feel so that we can get back to our tasks as soon as possible. Make sure to use pain relief medications safely and responsibly!