Tag Archives: Pain Medications

What’s a List of Pain Medications That Aren’t Habit Forming?

Each day, across this country, about 20 percent of the patients a physician sees are due to struggles with chronic pain. While the medical community once revered drugs like morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycontin as the holy grail for fast relief, recent knowledge has caused doctors to look for alternative remedies.

The increase of addictions and deaths with those who use these medications has played a significant part in the opioid crisis. Though they are thought of as effective pain relievers, the side and long-term effects cannot be ignored. In the past two decades, we can see and identify the true nature of these medications.

Controlling Pain

It’s easy to be unrealistic when you are dealing with chronic pain issues. People take one pill and expect their discomfort to go away completely. The medication can only reduce agony by about a third of its original state. While the medicine provides enough for people to function, their pain doesn’t ever truly go away.

Additionally, you must understand that pain and tissue damage are two different things. If you have pain that is caused by tissue damage, then opioids can help. However, it doesn’t do that good when someone is dealing with neuropathic pain that is created from nerve damage. So what is a person supposed to take to get pain relief that isn’t habit-forming and won’t cause significant side effects?


There aren’t many prescription medications for pain that don’t tend to cause addiction. However, you can look to over-the-counter varieties to help. Acetaminophen is an excellent medication that is great for relieving aching joints. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body as well as help with colds and flu symptoms. The side effect profile is slim, and it’s considered a safe treatment for pain. The only downside is that constant use can cause liver damage that is not reversible.


Another option for fast pain relief is Ibuprofen or the NSAID drug line. Several brand names are easily found on the shelves at any store. People turn to these medications for back pain, muscle sprains, headaches, and just about any pain out there. It’s common to find strengths in 200-300 milligrams over the counter, but a doctor can prescribe them in strengths of up to 800 mg. Some say they work just as good as opioids, but they don’t have all the side effects. Plus, these drugs are not habit-forming. They do a great job of reducing inflammation in the body, which helps bring relief.

Though the side effects of NSAIDs are not as severe as opioids, they still can cause some issues. For instance, a person who takes these drugs chronically can develop ulcers, develop heartburn, and they can cause kidney damage. Also, they increase the chances of having a stroke or heart disease with long term use.

•COX-2 inhibitor

There is a newer product that is an NSAID, but It’s a little different to other drugs in this category. The COX-2 inhibitor is a good choice for those who have gastric problems with traditional NSAID drugs. It does have the smallest risk of developing gastrointestinal problems, but it has an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Some say that it’s a little stronger than other drugs in its class, but it’s not habit-forming and a great option for pain.

•Holistic Methods

No rule says that you must pop a pill when you are in chronic pain. Sometimes, the best way to get over pain issues is by working those strained muscles and hurting joints. An exercise is an excellent option that can help to raise serotonin levels in the brain and bring about relief. It may be uncomfortable at first, but many find that by stretching their muscle range and working those sensitive parts, the body activates its healing properties and rushes to those sites to help.

Chiropractic care is another option that uses gentle manipulations of the spine to bring relief. This holistic option is well used by those with chronic back and neck pain. Putting the body back into perfect alignment can work wonders for constant pain.

Freeing Yourself From an Opioid Addiction

Did you know that one in four people in this country struggle with an opioid addiction? Are you one of them? There is a way to deal with your chronic pain without being addicted to prescription medications. We want to help you get on the right track and get your pain and addiction under control. If you would like to find out more about how our Southern Florida center can help, then call us today at 800-737-0933.

Are There Pain Medications That Aren’t Habit Forming?

America is in the midst of an epidemic of pain medication abuse. The problem is the addictive nature of prescription opioids: a recent report from the “Trust for America’s Health” found double- and triple-digit increases in synthetic opioid deaths from 2016–2017 of both males and females, from all ethnicities, and in every region of the nation.

Pain is frustrating and debilitating, and it can take over your life without warning. Unfortunately, opioid-based pain medications can be addictive, which can cause an entirely new set of problems.

It isn’t always simple to manage pain without habit-forming medications, or it wouldn’t be the problem it is … but there are alternatives. It’s best to be forearmed with the knowledge to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Not all Pain Medications are Habit-forming

According to government statistics, more than 47,000 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2017, a figure which includes prescription opioids, heroin, and the synthetic drug, fentanyl. Any medication requires caution, but the abuse factor makes opioids one of the riskiest.

The good news is that there are safe, effective medications which aren’t habit forming—and more are in development. Also, for many types of pain, it’s been shown that opioids are not more effective than non-opioid medications.


The most common non-opioid (non-narcotic) pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are effective against mild-to-moderate pain from many different conditions, including headaches, fever, inflammation, arthritis, sprains, cramps, muscle soreness, and toothaches. NSAIDs are often available over-the-counter.

Out of the nearly two dozen NSAIDs available by prescription, three are available over-the-counter in the US and most countries:

• Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, generics) – the most common NSAID is a synthetic derivative of salicylic acid, a natural compound found in foods. Salicylic have been used for healing and pain relief since ancient times.

• Naproxen (Aleve, generics) – Treats pain, fever, and swelling. Naproxen is similar to ibuprofen and begins working in just 30 minutes.

• Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, generics) – This medicine is effective for pain and fever, and can help with swelling—but its effects wear off quickly and must be readministered every 4-6 hours. The increased risk is associated with long-term use of over three months.


This is the world’s most popular pain medication, otherwise known as Tylenol. It relieves pain by blocking the production of prostaglandins in your system that can cause inflammation and fever. If correctly managed, this is a front-line pain treatment.

Acetaminophen is available over-the-counter and is generally well tolerated—though its effectiveness varies according to the pain condition and the individual’s system. Though considered safe, long-term use at higher dosages does carry some risk, and serious drug interactions are possible.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Antidepressants have proven helpful with nerve-associated pain such as with fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy. Tricyclics are the most common antidepressant used for pain treatment, even though their action isn’t fully understood. Effects come on slowly over the period of a few weeks, not hours, and they’re not habit-forming.

Other Non-Habit-forming Medications

Other non-addictive pain-relieving medications are targeted to certain conditions or applications. These require a prescription and medical oversight in the US and most countries.


Non-addictive antidepressants known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are typically quite effective against diabetic neuropathy pain. There are several SNRIs currently on the market.

• Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
• Venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR)
• Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
• Milnacipran (Savella)
• Levomilnacipran (Fetzima).

Antiseizure meds

Certain anticonvulsant medications seem to relieve pain by affecting calcium and GABA levels in your bloodstream. These manage pain from damaged nerves without risk of addiction.

Two medications, gabapentin, and pregabalin are especially effective in treating shingles-related neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, and pain from spinal cord injuries. Newer medications have fewer side effects than older medications of this class.

Topical Applications

Pain medicine can be applied to the skin instead of being ingested, so there isn’t a risk of addiction.

One common example is the lidocaine patch that is commonly used to treat shingles-related pain. Another is capsaicin ointment, from the active ingredient of chili peppers, which is effective against joint and diabetic nerve pain.


It’s not always evident from the media’s reports about opioid pain-killer addiction, but there’s good news, too. A number of safe and effective non-addictive pain medications are available, and there are promising medicines on the horizon.

If you have more questions or concerns, we can help: call us now 123-456-7890.