Different types of painkillers - Information and support

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Different types of painkillers - Information and support

11.27.2018 | Tyler Benson
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Different types of painkillers - Information and support

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Remember that although all strong painkillers cause similar side effects, some may suit you better than others. They may change your dose or give you another type of strong painkiller. If your pain is not well controlled, or if side effects are a problem, l your doctor or nurse.

Strong painkillers can cause side effects in some people. Show more. If you have any side effects, l your doctor or nurse.

Oxycodone can also be given by injection, or as an infusion using a syringe driver.

Pain can be mild, moderate or severe. It can be treated using different strengths of painkiller, depending on your level of pain. Your doctors and nurses will assess your pain and prescribe the best painkillers to help control it.

There can be many causes for different symptoms, but it is good to be aware of what to look for. You might worry that pain is a sign of cancer. Signs and symptoms.

Oncologist Sarah Slater explains how painkillers help people with advanced cancer.

You may need to change to another painkiller. If you have sickness that doesn’t stop after seven days, let your doctor know.

If your pain increases or decreases, the dose of your painkiller can be changed. The doctors will increase it gradually to a dose that controls your pain. It can take a few days to adjust to taking a strong opioid painkiller, or to taking a higher dose. You will usually start by having a low dose.

Methadone may help reduce nerve pain. It’s usually only given under close supervision from a specialist palliative care doctor or pain doctor.

Some of the more common ones are listed below. As with most medicines, some people will get side effects. These won’t affect everyone taking strong painkillers.

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Back to Pain (11).

Tapentadol, hydromorphone, methadone and alfentanil are used less commonly. Morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, buprenorphine and diamorphine are all commonly used. We have more information about these drugs below.

You can have fentanyl in different ways.

Two people with the same type of cancer may need different doses of the same drug, even if they are at the same stage of their illness. With this type of painkiller, it’s important for your doctor to find the most effective dose for you.

Long-acting painkillers are usually slower to control the pain, but are effective for a longer period of time. They are also called slow-release painkillers. When the doctor knows how much of the painkiller you need to control your pain, you will usually change to a long-acting drug.

It has few side effects, but it is very important not to take more than the recommended dose. Paracetamol can be used for most types of mild pain. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse as soon as possible if you think you have taken more than the recommended dose of paracetamol. You can buy it from a pharmacy or supermarket. Higher doses can damage the liver. Paracetamol does not reduce inflammation.

This is useful if you are feeling sick or vomiting. You may have morphine as an injection or as an infusion using a syringe driver. Occasionally, morphine suppositories are used.

Be aware that some other medicines or tablets that you can buy from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as cold and flu remedies, may also contain paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are unsure, check with a pharmacist before buying any over-the-counter medicines. If you are taking painkillers, you should be careful which other medicines you take, so that you don’t take more than the recommended doses.

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Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause indigestion and may irritate the lining of the stomach, so it’s important to take them after a meal or snack. Or they may suggest you use an anti-inflammatory gel, which you can rub onto the skin. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine to help protect your stomach. If you’ve had problems with stomach ulcers before, your doctor may suggest you don’t take anti-inflammatory drugs at all.

You can take morphine as:

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Or you can have long-acting tablets (Abtard, Longtec, OxyContin, Reltebon, Targinact) every 12 hours. You can take oxycodone by mouth as short-acting capsules or liquid (Lynlor, Oxycodone, OxyNorm, Shortec) every 4 to 6 hours.

The patches are changed every three days and each new patch is put on a different area of skin. These look like waterproof plasters. You stick them onto your skin and the drug is slowly released through the skin.

This can sometimes happen if you are having other treatments to shrink the cancer that may have helped to reduce your pain. You may need a lower dose of your painkiller or a different type of painkiller. This usually decreases within a few days once you are used to the dose. If you start to get drowsy when you have been taking strong painkillers for a while, you should l your doctor or specialist nurse.

Check with your doctor or nurse before taking these types of medicines. They do not always work for everyone and may not mix well with other medicines you’re taking.

Mild pain is often successfully treated with painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs.

When the doctor knows how much morphine you need to control your pain, you will usually change to long-acting drugs. You may still need to take short-acting morphine in between if you get breakthrough pain. These release the morphine dose very slowly over a period of either 12 or 24 hours, depending on which type you are taking.

When taking these drugs, always check the recommended dose on the packet and never take a higher dose.

There are three types of buccal fentanyl:

Examples are bisphosphonates and steroids. Other medicines, known as adjuvant drugs, may also be used to control pain. Non-opioids can be used in combination with opioids.

Your doctor or specialist nurse will explain to you how often to take the drug. To begin with, you usually take a short-acting type of morphine every 2 to 4 hours. Liquid morphine has a bitter taste but mixing it with a fruit drink can help. It’s usually taken as a tablet or a liquid.

Moderate to severe pain is treated with strong opioids, such as:

It could make you:. If the dose of a strong painkiller is too high, it can cause other symptoms.

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You may have diamorphine if you can’t swallow and need to have painkillers by injection, or as an infusion using a syringe driver. Diamorphine is converted to morphine in the body.

Some laxatives soften stools and make them easier to pass. It’s also important to eat a diet high in fibre and to drink plenty of fluids (at least two litres or three and a half pints a day). Others stimulate the bowel to push the stools along more quickly. If you’re taking strong painkillers, you should also take a laxative throughout your treatment. Taking a combination of these two types of laxative is often best for preventing constipation.

Combination painkillers have brand names such as:

Write the date on the patch so you remember when to change it. You should place patches on parts of your body that are not hairy. Patches can sometimes cause a slight skin rash. Let your doctor or specialist nurse know if you have a temperature, as it may affect how the medicine is absorbed through your skin. Try to stop the patch getting hot by protecting it from the sun, hot water, heat pads or hot water bottles.

This may be given as:

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Or you can have it as a nasal spray (Instanyl, Pecfent). Fentanyl can also be given as a sublingual tablet (Abstral, Recivit) that you put under the tongue.

Strong painkillers have side effects (see below). If you have side effects, l your doctor or nurse. A different type of strong painkiller may be better for you and not cause side effects.

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Other drugs may be used together with strong painkillers. For example, paracetamol or ibuprofen are often also prescribed. If your doctor or specialist nurse suggests this, it is important to take these as well as your strong painkiller.

You may have oxycodone if you can’t have morphine or if it doesn’t work well for you.

Let your doctor know straight away if you have any of these side effects.

Tapentadol (Palexia) is available as:

Methadone may be given as:

You may need to take an anti-sickness (anti-emetic) drug for at least the first week of treatment. You may feel sick when you first start taking opioid painkillers.

These drugs are often combined with paracetamol in a single tablet. For example, codeine and paracetamol make the painkiller co-codamol.

Ibuprofen has many different brand names, including Brufen and Neurofen. They are good for treating pain in the skin, muscle or bone. You can usually buy these from a pharmacy or supermarket. Other anti-inflammatory medicines need to be prescribed by a doctor. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen help reduce inflammation and swelling.

It describes the different treatments and approaches to help people in pain. It might help to have our booklet about controlling cancer pain. be.Macmillan.

If your pain isn’t controlled, it is important to let your doctor know so that they can give you stronger painkillers. There is a limit to the number of tablets you can take in one day. Most are only available with a prescription.

This is because they may make you drowsy and slow your reactions. Strong painkillers can make you feel tired. You should not drive if you have recently started taking strong painkillers or if you have increased the dose.

Most strong painkillers cause constipation.

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Oncologist Sarah Slater explains how painkillers help people with advanced cancer.

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Mild to moderate pain is treated with opioid drugs, such as:

Alfentanil (Rapifen) is another strong painkiller that is only given by injection or as an infusion using a syringe driver. It is more likely to be used if someone’s kidneys are not working well.

Sometimes opioids are used to treat mild pain.

The drug is absorbed from here into the body. Buccal fentanyl works best for breakthrough pain. You put buccal medicines in your mouth between your cheek and gum.

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You can gradually increase how much you drink if drowsiness isn’t a problem. Alcohol may increase drowsiness so it’s better to avoid it or only drink small amounts.

Once your doctors and nurses have assessed your pain they will prescribe the best painkillers to help control it. Pain is often described as being mild, moderate or severe. Different types of painkillers are effective for the different levels of pain.

These include steroids and muscle relaxants. There are other medicines ( adjuvant drugs ) that are often given with painkillers to help relieve pain.

During this time, you’ll usually need to take a short-acting opioid, such as morphine, to keep the pain under control. When you first use the patch, it takes around 12 to 24 hours for the fentanyl to reach its level in the blood.

The dose can easily be adjusted until your pain is well controlled. These provide quick pain relief that lasts for a short amount of time. At first, you usually take a short-acting painkiller.

l your doctor or nurse if you have a dry mouth. Chewing gum or using products containing artificial saliva can help. Strong painkillers can make your mouth dry.

Some painkillers give quick relief that lasts for a short time. Long-acting painkillers (also called slow-release painkillers) are slower to control the pain but are effective for a longer time. These are called short-acting painkillers.

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Hydromorphone is available as:

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