Analgesic drugs

Drugs used to relieve pain. The 2 main types are nonopioid and opioid. Nonopioid analgesics, which include aspirin, paracetamol, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are useful in the treatment of mild to moderate pain (for example, headache or toothache). Combinations of a weak opioid analgesic, such as codeine, with a nonopioid analgesic relieve more severe pain. Potent opioids such as morphine are used only when other preparations would be ineffective because they can produce tolerance and drug dependence. Adverse effects are uncommon with paracetamol. Aspirin and NSAIDs may irritate the stomach lining and cause nausea, abdominal pain, and, rarely, a peptic ulcer. Nausea, drowsiness, constipation, and breathing difficulties may occur with opioid analgesics.


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