Analgesics - The drug to relieve all pain

We all suffer from some kind of physical pain in our daily lives and to overcome that pain we end up eating painkillers which are actually analgesics.

What is an Analgesic

Analgesics reduce the effect of pain without causing any mental confusion, paralysis or any other disturbances in the nervous system so that you actually get rid of the pain without any imbalance in the nervous system. The analgesic drugs can act in many ways on the peripheral or central nervous system, but they do not eliminate the sensation of pain as in the case of anesthetics.

Types of Analgesics

Analgesics can be broadly classified into two categories:

Non-narcotic (non-addictive) analgesics

This type of drug is generally used for relieving the skeleton pain which can happen due to arthritis. Aspirin and paracetamol are the most common drugs in this case. When you take aspirin, it acts by inhibiting the synthesis of the chemical known as prostaglandins by chemical reactions which causes inflammation in the tissues and as a result the sensation of pain is felt.

These drugs also help in reducing fever and prevent platelet coagulation. The anti-blood clotting action is the reason why aspirin is used for the prevention of heart attacks.

Narcotic analgesics

These types of analgesic drugs are taken for medical use in prescribed doses, where they act by relieving the pain and producing sleep. If the dose of this analgesic drug increases then it can lead to coma, convulsion and finally result in death.

Morphine is the most common type of narcotic analgesic used nowadays, they are also referred to as opiates since they are obtained from opium poppy.

The narcotic analgesics or painkillers are mostly used for relieving postoperative pain, cardiac pain and the pain of terminal cancer.

Classification of Analgesics

Analgesic are further classified depending on their mechanism of action. They are:

  • Paracetamol (acetaminophen)

  • NSAIDs

  • COX-2 inhibitors

  • Opioids

  • Alcohol

  • Medical cannabis

  • Combinations

  • Alternative medicine

  • Psychotropic agents

Analgesic Side Effects

Painkillers are the most important drugs that we use, and so we should always be careful in regard to which type of analgesics we are taking and the doses that are prescribed for it. One should consult a doctor before taking these drugs and not become addicted to them as this addiction can be harmful.

For example, many people take in sleeping pills if they are suffering from insomnia, as long as the drug is taken according to the doses as prescribed by the doctor, it may be helpful but if you cross the safety limits and take in extra doses then it may lead to death.