How to Choose the Right Painkiller for You

In the United States, the over-the-counter painkiller industry is worth billions of dollars. This doesn’t even include prescription pain killers, such as opioids.

In many ways, pain is a part of life. However, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be addressed. Trying to ignore pain can lead to negative health consequences.

Headache, sore muscles and other aches can happen to anyone. Plus, about 50 million adults live with chronic pain. Read on to learn what types of painkillers could be right for you.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 

Better known as NSAIDs, drugs belonging to this class are among the most commonly used throughout the world. As their name suggests, they have the added benefit of relieving inflammation (swelling and redness).

This makes them effective for simple aches and even some infections. For example, someone with the common cold can take an NSAID to reduce swelling of the respiratory tract and the pain that comes with it.

Ibuprofen is the most well known and widely consumed in the United States. Other examples include diclofenac, naproxen, indomethacin, and many others. Shop here to find them at the best price.


Often sold under the brand name Tylenol, this needs to be in your medicine cabinet. Looking at the different types of painkillers, this is one of the most simple and effective.

Unlike the NSAIDs, acetaminophen works in the central nervous system (CNS) and doesn’t have an anti-inflammatory effect. Also, they are unlikely to cause GI upset or predispose to ulcers.

Consider going for acetaminophen for that headache. It is also an antipyretic, meaning that it can be used to control a fever.


Acetylsalicylic acid, much better known as aspirin, is an essential medication. Despite being inexpensive to make, it serves many different purposes in healthcare systems across the globe.

It is one of the most multifaceted types of painkillers. Over-the-counter aspirin can be used for pain and even heart health.

Opioid Drugs

Opioids are a class of powerful painkillers. Generally speaking, they are types of prescription painkillers administered by a physician’s prescription due to their potential for abuse.

All the types of painkillers in this group chemical analogs of opium, a drug derived from the poppy plant.

Methadone, oxycodone, and morphine are types of strong painkillers that doctors prescribe. Heroin is also an opioid but classified as a schedule I controlled substance by the American government.

Get the Right Types of Painkillers

You could be a complete stoic your entire life. But you never know when you or someone you care for could get hurt or sick.

It pays to have a basic understanding of common pharmaceuticals. Knowing about the basics of several types of painkillers can go a long way. Every household should have a medkit that includes common medications, including the ones we’ve listed above.

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