Drugs commonly used to treat chronic pain
As a Pain Doctor in Jersey, Dr McClymont can prescribe medications as these are often used to treat chronic pain as they can help considerably. They can have significant side-effects so the drugs need to be carefully introduced taking into account the potential pain relieving benefits versus the side-effects.
A list of the most common drugs used, depending upon the pain level, is given below.
- Paracetamol – generally safe if taken within recommended doses. Very useful painkiller.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Celebrex and Meloxicam – these reduce inflammation and also relieve pain. They are useful in treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Side-effects include stomach upset, impaired kidney function and a worsening of asthma symptoms. The elderly are particularly at risk if these medications are taken long term.
- Combination drugs such as Co-Codamol (Codeine plus Paracetamol) and Co-Dydramol (Dihydrocodeine plus Paracetamol)
- Opiate drugs – usually stopped after a short time and are rarely used long term. These drugs are addictive and therefore only prescribed after careful consideration of the patient and their pain complaint.
- Gabapentin and Pregabalin – these drugs help with shooting, electric shock like pain.
- Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline and Duloxetine – these drugs were originally used to treat depression but have found a useful place in treating nerve pain that is of a burning nature.
Nerve pain is difficult to treat and often doesn't respond to conventional painkillers. This type of pain is frequently described as a burning or shooting pain. Please click on this link www.fpm.ac.uk/faculty-of-pain-medicine/patient-inf... for patient information leaflets on the medications listed above for nerve pain.
These links maybe of interest to both patients and healthcare professionals:
- The British Pain Society for patients – www.britishpainsociety.org
- Fibromyalgia Action UK– www.fmauk.org
- The Migraine Trust – www.migrainetrust.org
- Pelvic Pain Support Network – www.pelvicpain.org.uk
- Pain Concern –
- Shingles Support Society - www.painuk.org
(click on Members tab then Charities then scroll down to Shingles Support Society and click on their name)
- Chronic Pain – a self help guide - www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/chronicpain.asp