A pain reliever is a type of medicine that aims to reduce or relieve pain from headaches, arthritis, sore muscles, and other causes of aches and pains. There are different types of pain relievers, and some work better for specific causes of pain compared to other medications.
Some pain relievers are available over the counter, and they help with many types of general pain. Examples of OTC pain relievers include:
In cases where OTC pain relievers do not help, a doctor may prescribe a prescription pain reliever. Additionally, many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) are available at a higher dose in prescription format.
The most potent pain relievers are opioids, yet this high effectiveness can come with serious side effects and a potential risk of addiction.