Pain medications, also referred to as analgesics, are medications used to relieve different types of pain, including headaches, injuries, arthritis, and more. There are various types of pain medications that work through different physiological mechanisms and can be classified into two categories: anti-inflammatory and opioid analgesics .
Anti-inflammatory analgesics reduce inflammation, while opioid analgesics change the way the brain perceives pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications are available for relief from conditions such as arthritis, muscle pain, menstrual cramps, and more, while others require a prescription .
Pain can be caused by a variety of factors and is classified into eight categories for better pain management, including acute pain, chronic pain, bone pain, nerve pain, phantom pain, and more .
Pain is usually rated on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no pain and 10 indicating the worst pain possible . A prescription for pain medication includes the patient’s name and identifier, medication and strength, amount to be taken, route of administration, and frequency .
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