Pain Medication

Which medication for what kind of pain?


When choosing which pain medication is applicable to you depends on whether your pain is caused by inflammation (nociceptive pain) or a disorder of the nerve tissue (neuropathic pain). The nature of your pain complaints, together with the general physical examination and neurological examination, enable us to distinguish between these two types of pain.

Some pain medication is particularly intended for certain diagnoses such as migraine and cluster headache.

Moreover, the choice of pain medication is also dependent on other factors that can negatively influence your pain, such as fear and depression.

You will find more information about the therapeutic effects and side effects of medication on apotheek.nl.

Which Medication do I need for Pain due to Inflammation?

Anti-nociceptive pain medication

In the acute phase (first 3 months):

  • NSAIDs
  • Paracetamol
  • COX-2-inhibitors

In the chronic phase (more than 3 months):

Although NSAIDs are frequently prescribed and used in chronic pain, the scientific evidence of a positive effect of this medication on such pain is lacking. The same can be said for the use of (weak) opioids, such as morphines.

In the case of morphines, short-term treatment is advised (up to 3 months), and always in combination with medication for constipation.

  • Tricyclic anti-depressive drugs
  • Weak opioids
  • Opioids

Which Medication do I need for Pain due to Neuropathic Pain?

Depending on the findings of the neurological examination for neuropathic pain, various kinds of medication can be prescribed. No brand names are mentioned below:

  • Anti-convulsive drugs: (pain by touching; pins and needles; changed sensation; spontaneous flashing pain; spontaneous and continuous burning pain).
  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs: (pins and needles; changed sensation; spontaneous flashing pain; spontaneous and continuous burning pain).
  • Tricyclic anti-depressive drugs: (pain by touching; pins and needles; changed sensation; spontaneous flashing pain; spontaneous and continuous burning pain).
  • Topical anaesthetics: (pain by touching; change sensation).
  • Baclofen: (pain by touching).
  • Opioids: (pain by touching).
  • Clonidine: (pain by touching).
  • NMDA-antagonists: (pain by touching; changed sensation).