How Do Painkillers Work ?

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Offline neilep

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How Do Painkillers Work ?
« on: 19/01/2008 18:17:39 »
Dearest All,

Happy Saturday to ya ! (though I realise my greeting is date specific...well, for at least a week anyway !)

See these painkillers of aspirin luff and goodness ?

[attachment=2148]

Nice eh ?....of course there are others, Ibuprofen, paracetamol, codeine etc etc,

But how do these painkillers work ? do they actually numb the pain at the source of the ache ?...or do they affect the brain that deals with the recognition of pain ?

I'm also interested (as a curious sheep)..as to how the different pain killers work ?...clearly aspirin and paracetamol are different drugs yes ?...and I believe can be used at the same time !!!...so...how do they accomplish the same thing by using different methods ?


I'm just a sheep....make your answers as painless as possible please !!

Hug and shmishes

Neil
xxxxx

Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline Karen W.

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How Do Painkillers Work ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/01/2008 18:24:22 »
I think aspirin is an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen, and I think if you have a painful injury etc that the decrease in inflammation usually reduces the pain by reducing swelling around the injury! Now Tylenol helps with fever and pain, but I am not sure how its pain medication helps.

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Offline opus

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How Do Painkillers Work ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/01/2008 22:36:46 »
I think some block the pain receptors , either at the source of the pain , or,more likely, the receptors in the brain...Anyone know for sure...?

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another_someone

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How Do Painkillers Work ?
« Reply #3 on: 20/01/2008 05:16:25 »
Opiates (morphine, codeine, etc.) certainly act on the brain.

Aspirin is in a class of drugs known as NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and these (ibuprofen is another) all have generally similar action.

Paracetamol is another.

Both NSAIDs and paracetamol seem to effect prostglandin, which (amongst its other uses) will:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostaglandins
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sensitize spinal neurons to pain

The way they have this impact on prostaglandin depends on the drug, but seems to be better understood for aspirin but still uncertain when it comes to paracetamol.