Are There Different Classes of Painkillers

Painkillers are one of the most effective ways to get the pain relief that you are looking for. Typically, your medical professional will prescribe you painkillers if you have gone through a serious surgery, have suffered a type of injury, or if you are going through the healing process from a serious disease. Before accepting pain medication from any professional, it is still important to remain informed about what you are taking. Below is an overview of the types of painkillers that your professional is likely to choose from when prescribing you medication.


The first and most common group of painkillers prescribed to individuals are opioids. Opioids include drugs like Codeine, Methadone, Morphine, Tramadol, and oxycodone. These types of drugs work by targeting specific opioid receptor cells in the body that are located in the brain and spinal cord. Once they reach the receptor cells, they are able to treat chronic pain by sending a compound through the receptor cell that supresses the production of pain. Because this type of painkiller is able to target a number of different cells, it is one of the most effective and low side-effect type of drugs.

Low-Efficacy Opioids


These types of opioids are another class of opioids such as Codeine-Phosphate and Codeine Propoxyphene. Essentially, this type of pain relief drug is a mix of two drugs and the combination is effective because the drugs have different purposes in pain relief. Unlike traditional opioids, these drugs are for less severe forms of pain that can be categorized as mild to moderate.


Aspirin is an over-the-counter pain killer and it is also the most widely used because you do not need a prescription to attain it. This type of pain killer is not for severe pain, but very moderate pain that is the result of a small injury or an illness. This drug works by blocking the body’s production of pain causing compounds, thereby allowing you to feel relief. How effective and fast working this drug is depends upon the brand name that you choose. For instance, generic brands tend to be less effective than the non-generic type.


Finally, there is paracetamol, which are also over-the-counter pain killers that are used to cure very mild pain that arises from an injury or illness. Tylenol is perhaps the most recognizable version of Paracetamol. Like aspirin, this type of pain killer is most effective in non-generic form.

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