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What pain medication are you taking?

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pain medicationDo you live with chronic pain or inflammation?

Do you understand the medication being prescribed to you?

Most of the time, when you visit the Doctor you just want to be fixed, you’re not really fussed about what you’re prescribed.

You trust their opinion and leave the surgery feeling relieved that you have a piece of paper in your hand that is going to make things all better. We are not educated in pharmaceuticals, nor are we pharmacist or doctors. We don’t really understand why a specific medication has being prescribed. We might google it or flick through the package insert …. But that’s as far as it goes. We start taking medication without proper council or knowledge of side effects.

There are prescription only NSAIDs, COX 2 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and Narcotic like pain killers that treat pain and the underlying inflammation. Not to mention your regular non-steroidal over the counter drugs that includes regular medication like Ibuprofen. All these medications affect your body in different ways. If you have an addictive personality for example or suffer from Psychosis then taking narcotic like medications for pain relief might not be the best idea. Always discuss side effects and drug interactions with your doctor and pharmacist. If you are worried about anything do not start taking the medication but seek further advice.

Two medications prescribed for inflammation and pain relief are called Celebrex and Arcoxia. Both drugs are COX 2 selective inhibitors, part of the non-steroidal family.

Celebrex contains the active ingredient Celecoxib and can be used to treat osteoarthritis, acute pain, painful menstruation, and rheumatoid arthritis. Other applications include use for relieving menstrual symptoms and to help familial adenomatous polyposis patients (it can help them to reduce the number of colon and rectum polyps).

Arcoxia contains the active ingredient Etoricoxib. It can be used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be used to manage symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, to relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain and to treat acute gouty arthritis. It can also be used as relief of acute pain.

So, what does COX 2 selective inhibitors mean exactly?

COX 2 is the enzyme in our body that is responsible for inflammation and pain. COX 2 inhibitor drugs are non-steroidal and they target the COX 2 enzyme selectively, in order to destroy the root of the pain.

Serious steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include medications like Prednisone.

Prednisonze is part of the corticosteroid steroid family and contains the active ingredient Prednisolone Acetate. Corticosteroids are hormones naturally produced hormones to control the inflammatory responses in our body. Prednisone works within the cells to help reduce inflammatory responses and therefore reduces the swelling and irritation associated with the pain and inflammation.

There are also narcotic pain relievers which belong to the opiate drug family.

Tramadol is a commonly prescribed narcotic like drug. It acts centrally and treats moderate to severe pain. It’s commonly prescribed for treating symptoms in a broad range of illnesses from fibromyalgia to anxiety. This medication is particularly effective when combined with paracetamol.

Narcotic pain relievers include codeine, oxycodone Percocet, Vicodin and morphine, however morphine is generally used for acute-chronic pain and is more effective due to its higher potency.

If your doctor feels that your level of pain relief can be managed by using regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs then it is worth trying OTC medications like Ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. They are all good anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used for moderate to severe pain. Remember to always take them after food!

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