Pain comes in different forms. It can be dull or heightened, numbing or burning, chronic or acute. It could be a minor aberration or wholly immobilizing. The sensation that one feels depends on the area of the injury, as well as the way the brain deals with the signals.
Usually, pain medications attempt to halt transmission of pain from the area of injury to the brain, or to directly affect the brain. Pain medication does not necessarily have a uniform effect on people. The threshold of pain varies from person to person.
For instance, for a similar injury, one person could require Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication while another may need a powerful prescribed drug. In such cases, the appropriate medication depends not so much on the condition of the injury than the person experiencing the sensation.
The most widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is ibuprofen. NSAIDs not only succeed in stopping pain but also reduce inflammation. There are three common Over-the-Counter NSAIDs available in the market. They are: naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin.
Basically, ibuprofen and aspirin are short-acting medications, whereas naproxen lasts much longer. In other words, it may require a few more dosages of naproxen for an effect to be felt. So, ibuprofen is generally used for quick relief from pain, and naproxen for long-term problems.
Most NSAID medications are prescribed medications. They include: Fenoprofen (Nalfon); Flurbiprofen (Ansaid); Ketoprofen (Oruvail); Naproxen (Naprosyn); Naproxen sodium (Anaprox); Oxaprozin (Daypro); Diclofenac sodium (Voltaren); Diclofenac potassium (Cataflam); Meclofenamate (Meclomen); Piroxicam (Feldene) and others.
This particular group of drugs is highly marketed by pharmaceutical companies. Different NSAIDs are advertised as being suitable for certain conditions. In case of gout, for example, indomethacin (Indocin) is regarded as the best drug. There is no concrete evidence to support such theories; facts shows that NSAIDs do not affect everybody the same way.
These medications, however, do come with side effects. The major side effect of these medications is the bleeding they can cause in the stomach. This normally happens after a person has used them for a long time, but cases of bleeding after short-term use is not uncommon. Long-term use of NSAIDs can also affect the kidneys. Acetaminophen is considered the safest and best medication for long-term use.
While pain medications have been a boon for the medical fraternity as well as the lay public, one should be prudent in their use. If a person takes medication as prescribed by a certified doctor or under instructions written in the medicine label, then the consequences can only be positive.