Non-Opioid Analgesics

Pain is a protective reflex that the body uses as a way of preserving itself. Humans have the same perception of pain because it is a nerve to cortex pathway that all of our bodies do. The reaction to pain or the pain response is considered widely different in humans. There are factors that affect this which include:

  • mental instability 
  • youth
  • fatigue
  • fear
  • gender 

Analgesics help to increase pain threshold and therefore reduce the pain response. Think of threshold like the point at which pain is felt. If pain is now felt at a higher point then the pain response will be less exaggerated as well. 

3 Main categories 

  1. Salicylate NSAIDs Aspirin is the prototype
  2. NSAIDS non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Ibuprofen is the prototype 
  3. Acetaminophen Tylenol

To remember this chart you need to hand copy it. The more times you write it, the more you remember. In time, test your knowledge without looking at answers! 

AspirinTylenolIbuprofen
Anti Inflammatoryyesnoyes
Anti Pyreticyesyesyes
Anti Platelet or blood thinneryes for life of platelet (4-7 days)noyes, reversed when med excreted fully
Drug InteractionsHighly plasma bound, can out compete coumadin,Do not take with alcohol or other hepatotoxic drugs like: Barbiturates, Tegretol, Dilantin Lithium, Methotrexate, Anti hypertensives, Digoxin
Adverse EffectsGI upset, nausea4g/24hr for healthy adult and 3g/24hr for reduced liver function, over this causes liver damage GI upset, increases gastric acid, some CNS depression, no tolerance will be built
Signs of OverdoseTinnitus, dim vision, cold, risk in pregnancy of hemorrhage Increased LFT and bilirubin, encephalopathy, coma, Mucomyst is antidoteProlonged exposure lowers kidney function but is reversible, category B during pregnancy

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