A Mix of Pain Treatments, part # 11
Continuing our blog series on “Pain”. Submitted by guest author, Kevin Samuels, Outreach Coordinator, Flowers Health: https://jflowershealth.com/
Depending on the patient’s needs, a doctor may use opioids, non-opioids, or some combination of both.
— Anticonvulsants or anti-epileptics: Primarily treat seizures. They may also relieve pain associated with nerve damage and fibromyalgia. Examples include: gabapentin, pregabalin, carbamazepine, and lamotrigine.
— Muscle Relaxants: When it comes to using muscle relaxants for chronic pain, expert opinions are divided. Moreover, only a few studies support their use in people with persistent pain. Thus, a person who is thinking of using any of these drugs should consult their doctor.
— Corticosteroids: Hormone-based drugs that reduce inflammation. They occur naturally in the body. Some corticosteroids are synthesized in the lab. Injectable steroids may help relieve chronic pain due to pinched nerves or joint disorders. However, in 2014, the FDA reported that injectable corticosteroids might cause paralysis and death.
— Antirheumatic medications: Used to control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They suppress the immune system and help reduce damage to the joints. Examples include: methotrexate, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, and sulfasalazine.
— Antidepressants: Can lift not only mood but may also relieve chronic pain. They can be useful in treating pain due to arthritis, migraine, nerve damage, and fibromyalgia. These medications work by increasing the levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. They may be used even when a person shows no signs of depression. Examples include: amitriptyline, venlafaxine, and paroxetine.
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