What is an Oral Analgesic?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2018
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An oral analgesic in its most basic form is simply a painkiller taken via the mouth. Analgesic is medicine that is taken to stop pain. The medicine can either be prescribed by a doctor or purchased over the counter in many stores.

Doctors invariably prescribe an oral analgesic to patients in acute pain. Doctors break down types of pain into two classes: chronic pain and acute pain. Chronic pain is usually pain that lasts for a long duration of time. This type of pain is difficult to treat with an oral painkiller, as the side effects from the drug are difficult to manage. Also, because the patient would have to take the painkiller for a long time, the addiction factor must be taken into consideration.

Chronic pain usually requires a combination of medicine, therapy and lifestyle change. Acute pain usually does not last as long as chronic pain. It can occur after an injury, or after a surgery or childbirth. Headaches or migraines can also be classified as acute pain. Patients can be prescribed an oral analgesic without fear of addiction, due to the brief length of time it will be taken.

Analgesics can have narcotic elements. Narcotic analgesics called opioids are derived from the drug opium. Morphine and codeine are also used in some forms of painkillers. The addictive potential depends on the dosage and time frame. As these types of medicine are addictive, federal and state laws control them.


Other forms of oral analgesic are known as non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are very effective even in small doses. They are usually prescribed as an oral painkiller, but some can be given as an injection. They are appropriate to ease pain for a minimum amount of time.

Another type of analgesic is acetaminophen. Acetaminophen contains no narcotic agents and is also an anti-inflammatory. Like NSAIDs, acetaminophen is appropriate to use to control pain over short periods of time. It has practically no side effects, but if taken in high doses, it has been known to have a toxic effect on the body.

An oral analgesic can be taken in many forms. They can be taken as a powder in a drink, in pill form or as a spray. If you are in acute pain and have been taking an oral analgesic for some time without relief, you should consult your doctor. He will advise on the best treatment available for your pain.


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Post 3

I am always so glad that I live in an age when oral analgesics are widely available.

Think about how much more troublesome that headache/toothache/arthritis/etc. would be without painkillers!

Of course in older times they still had some forms of painkillers, but they certainly didn't have the convenience of just popping a pill.

Post 2

There are some people who shouldn't take oral analgesics though, for instance, those with ulcers may not be able to take them, or people who have advanced liver or kidney problems.

Of course, every situation varies, but a doctor can tell you if you have a condition in which you shouldn't take oral analgesics.

Post 1

Oral analgesics can also be things like medicated cough drops, or the gels you can get to help with a toothache.

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