Medications for acute phases of pain
Which categories of medication may be of help during acute phases of pain?
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs help relieve pain from mild musculoskeletal inflammation.
Severe inflammation or nerve root swelling may be treated with a brief, tapering schedule of glucocorticoids.
Muscle relaxants have been found helpful in some patients with muscle spasms and in helping to facilitate sleep (due to their sedative side effects).
Antidepressant drugs (e.g., tricyclics) and antiepileptic drugs (e.g., gabapentin) may be helpful in treating neuropathic pain and may also help with sleep.
Short-term pain relief with opiate-based medications can be beneficial in limited cases.
For best results, pain medications should be given on a scheduled basis rather than on an as-needed basis.