Pain medicine

Several types of medicines can be used to treat pain.

Pain medicines may be over-the-counter (OTC) medicines—like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Ask your doctor which OTCs are safe for you to use.

Your doctor may prescribe other pain medicines. These may include some NSAIDs that aren't OTC medicines.

Opioids are strong medicines. They may be prescribed if your doctor thinks you may need them to relieve moderate to severe pain.

To avoid the risk of side effects from pain medicine, take the lowest dose that works to relieve your pain.

Take pain medicines exactly as prescribed or according to the label on the medicine bottle and box.

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