Different medicines control pain in different ways. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS. They reduce pain by reducing inflammation. Acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, is an analgesic that reduces pain by elevating the body’s pain threshold. Both NSAIDS and acetaminophen are widely available over-the-counter.
Opioids are powerful prescription pain medications like morphine and Percocet that block pain signals to the brain. Opioids are highly effective, but they are also a narcotic that can be addictive. If your doctor prescribes opioids, it is important to take only the prescribed dose and to stop taking the medicine as soon as your pain improves.