What are the different types of pain medications?

Topic Tags:  
Topic Tags:  
Expert Answers

RussellPortenoyMD (Physician - Hospice / Palliative Care (Verified) ) - 07 / 22 / 2012

There are three categories of pain medications: “Non-opioid” drugs include the many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) and acetaminophen. So-called “adjuvant drugs” are a large group of drug classes and individual drugs that are mostly on the market to manage conditions other than pain but have been found through studies and experience to be analgesic in some situations. The adjuvant analgesics that are used in cancer pain management most frequently include the corticosteroids (such as dexamethasone), the analgesic antidepressants (such as duloxetine and desipramine), and the anticonvulsants (such as gabapentin and pregabalin). Finally, “opioids” are drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the body; the pure mu agonist opioids, the prototype of which is morphine, are the major drugs used to treat acute pain and chronic pain due to active cancer.
Join Now to ask a follow-up question or share your experience!
We'll help guide and support you through treatments.
Similar Questions
What are the different types of advanced targeted radiotherapies that are options to treat cancer?
What are the different types of brachytherapy (IRT - Internal Radiation Therapy)?
How do you determine the appropriate dosage of pain medications for a child with cancer?
What are the choices for antidepressant medications?
What medications are available for nausea?
Note: All content on this site is informational and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding your health.
Note: Usernames have been made anonymous and profile images are not shown to protect the privacy of our members.
Flag Content
Please explain why you are flagging this content. Thank you.
Thank you for flagging this content. We will look into it right away.
Give a 'Thank you' to
Talk About Health
Add Answer

1) Question:
2) Background Info (optional): What context or background information is relevant to this request?
The more clear and thorough your request, the more likely you will receive support.
Many of our members are learning from this information or english might not be their first language. Please use standard english and spell out all words. For example, use 'you' instead of 'u'.
Talk About Health
Please join TalkAboutHealth and you will be able to ask questions.
Subscribe to our free updates for the latest news, best answers and featured experts!
Your Email:
Q&A Workshop Announcements
(Featured experts, answers, tips, & latest news.)
Q&A Workshop Summaries
(Answer summaries from our expert Q&A workshops.)
Best of TalkAboutHealth (weekly)
(The week's best answers, news & support.)
TalkAboutHealth Benefits
(Custom health, wellness & medical promotions from our partners.)

Partners become a partner

© Copyright 2018 - Talk About Health - Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
x Don't show again
Like us on Facebook?