When to Use OTC Drugs to Manage Pain

Pain Management pic
Pain Management
Image: webmd.com

A resident of Melville, NY, and operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, Ellen Scharaga plays a vital role in developing new medications that manage chronic conditions. Medications that Ellen Scharaga works with include specialized pain management drugs.

When experiencing pain, individuals have the option to use over-the-counter (OTC) medicine or obtain a prescription. OTC pain relievers are best suited for occasional aches derived from arthritis, sore muscles, headaches, and back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, are often recommended. Pain management specialists suggest using OTC medication to manage infrequent pain and to try a different NSAID if one does not work, since each type offers varying outcomes.

Individuals should see a physician if the OTC medication is not working and the pain intensifies. Swelling and inflammation as well as onset of a fever will require attention from a medical professional. A physician will evaluate a patient to determine suitable medication to prescribe that will not only manage pain but have the least likelihood of side effects.