Know Your Painkillers

Painkillers Popping a painkiller is like blinking an eye for many. But it is important to know a lot of things before you pop that pill, indiscriminately. In pain, first thing we do is to wash off a painkiller with some water. A staple in each first aid box and medicine cabinet, analgesics or painkillers are medications which brings down the intensity of pain and gives a quick relief from discomfort. A comprehensive knowledge of these drugs for a better understanding of their pros and cons is undoubtedly imperative.

Some painkillers can be obtained over-the-counter from a medical store or pharmacy and rest require a doctor’s prescription. Types of painkillers: Painkillers can broadly be classified in three types:

  • Acetaminophen: Widely known as paracetamol, this is a commonly used pain and fever reliving drug.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID): These restrict certain pain causing enzymes in the body from functioning. Aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and celecoxib are some of the examples.
  • Narcotic painkillers or opioids: These are much stronger types of painkillers and can be used to get relief from moderate to severe pain. Morphine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, diamorphine, oxycodone, pethidine and tramadol are some of them.

Dosage: Keep the dosage strictly as prescribed by the physician. Each one of these takes at least 30 minutes to one hour of time to begin their action. Do not take them too frequently in order to get a quicker relief. Children should be administered paediatric doses only and not the broken and smaller pieces of adult dosage. It can have severe consequences. Alternatives to painkiller medicines: While popping a painkiller is the handiest way to get rid of a discomforting and nagging pain, there are several natural pain reliving techniques that one could try instead:

  • Cold/hot pack: In areas like back, ankles or knees, cold or hot packs can relieve the pain to a lot of extent. Just take a towel dipped in hot or cold water and apply this to the desired area. You can also use a hot water bag or an ice pack instead of a dripping towel.
  • Alternative pain relieving modalities: Acupressure and massage work well in some pain areas. Try some simple stretching exercises also to get relief from sore muscles and joints.
  • Healing foods: Add foods in your regular diet like capsicum, ginger, fish oil or haldi. These foods have high anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing qualities and can greatly help in relieving pain. Pressing a clove under an aching tooth reduces the ache for some time but is definitely not a substitute for a visit to a dentist.


  • It is best to avoid having painkillers without prescription.
  • Don’t have them empty stomach.
  • Do not take two different types of painkillers together to get faster relief.