Opioids medications are power pain relievers, but may come with serious complications. For this reason, a wide range of non-opioid medications are available to help relieve acute and chronic pain. Your physician after a comprehensive review will determine which medications may be most successful in giving you the best outcome.
Non-opioid Adjuvant Therapy FAQ
Non-opioid medications are available as an alternative to opioid medications and are from five classes of medications below. It is important to discuss the risks, benefits, alternatives, and side effects with your healthcare provider before starting any medication.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription medications that provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.
- Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, is different that NSAIDs, but similarly reduces pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain.
- Anti-depressants at lower dosages act as a pain reliever by reducing the pain signal intensity to the brain. However, anti-depressants can take up to six weeks to take effect.
- Anti-convulsants, also known as anti-seizure medications, act as a pain reliever by reducing the pain signal intensity to the brain. However, anti-convulsants can take up to six weeks to take effect.
- Muscle relaxants reduce pain by preventing muscle spasms, which contribute to pain.
- Topical medications work in various mechanisms to reduce pain, such as lidocaine cream that numbs the area, capsaicin cream that provides a soothing warming which depletes pain molecules.