Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are medicines that can help relieve pain or lower a fever. OTC means you can buy them at a store, without a prescription from your doctor. There are 2 main types of OTC pain relievers: acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Pain relievers can decrease or stop pain. They can also reduce fevers. Some can help with swelling or inflammation. Different types work in different ways. Some kinds of pain respond better to one kind of pain medicine. What works for one person might not work for another.
Pain can be caused by many things, such as an injury, a surgery, or a health problem like low back pain or cancer. Long-term pain that isn't controlled can make it harder to enjoy life. But there are ways you can learn to manage pain. And managing pain can have a lot of benefits, like being able to do more activities or sleep better. You may feel more able to enjoy life. Our topics can help you find ways to keep your pain under control.
Way to improve health
OTC pain relievers can be helpful in treating many types of pain. These can include headaches, arthritis pain, earaches, back pain, and pain after surgery. They can also treat pain from the flu or a cold, sinusitis, or a sore throat. In some cases, a specific type of pain reliever does a better job helping a specific kind of pain.
How do I safely take OTC pain relievers?
Read the directions on the label before taking any medicine. Learn how much to take and how often you should take it. If you have any questions about how much medicine to take, call your family doctor or pharmacist. Keep track of which OTC medicines you are using and when you take them. If you need to go to the doctor, take this list with you.