Prescription Medicines Used to Treat Back Pain and Spine Problems

Back pain is something that can be very serious and affects many aspects of a person's life. There are a number of treatments available, including surgery. However, surgery, while effective, carries a number of risks, so it is generally best to start with a nonsurgical treatment for acute back pain. There are a number of Over the Counter Medications available to treat chronic back pain, but sometimes they are not enough, so prescription medicines are used.

Prescription Medicine and Back Pain

Prescription medication is only available after consulting a doctor, who will prescribe the medication, after considering the patients condition and medical history. Some medications are merely higher doses of over the counter medication, but generally it is something you would not be able to get without a doctor's prescription.

As is the case with any medication, it is essential to read all of the warnings associated with the drug, as well as always adhering to the proper dosage.

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed for back pain, because they help reduce muscle spasms in the back and can help with back pain. However, like many types of medication, it is treating a symptom, specifically pain, and not the actual cause of the symptom. As a result, muscle relaxants are not going to help reduce disability.

Some Common Muscle relaxers are, Flexeril(cyclobenzaprine), Robaxin(methocarbamol), and Soma.

Pain Medication

Prescription pain medication is usually much stronger than over the counter medicines and can vary from heavy pain relief to medium pain relief. While very effective at treating pain, there is a very high risk of chemical addiction when using these types of medicines, so it is important to use them in moderation and ONLY when needed.

When taking pain medication, or any medication, make sure to only take the recommended dosage and to follow all directions, such as avoiding drinking alcohol or driving.

The goal is not to treat the problem, but to simply reduce pain, which will hopefully give the body a chance to heal.

There are many types of prescription pain medication, but some of the more common ones are listed below.

  • Codeine: Codeine is probably the most common type of pain medication and while it can be prescribed by itself, it is usually mixed with Tylenol or some other type of pain reliever.
  • Ultram(propoxyphene) Ultram is another common medication, which is usually considered to not act as much as a sedative as other medicines do. It is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.
  • Darvon(propoxyphene): Darvon is another pain reliever that like codeine is often mixed with other medications. For instance, Darvocet is a combination of Darvon and acetaminophen(Tylenol) and Darvon Compound is a mixture of Darvon, aspirin, and caffeine.
  • Vicodin(hydrocodone): Vicodin is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain and is commonly used after a surgery. Like other pain relievers, it is also sometimes mixed with medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • Demerol(meperidine) Demerol can be extremely addictive and is used for moderately severe to severe pain.
  • Percodan(oxycodone): When taken for an extended period of time, percodan, which is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, can be very addictive. It is also mixed with other medications. For instance, Percocet is a mixture of Percodan and acetaminophen.
  • Morphine: Morphine is an opiate, similar to heroirn, which is used to treat very severe pain. It is also extremely addictive.
  • Oxycontin(oxycodone)Oxycontis is used to treat moderately severe to severe pain and is also an opiate. It is incredibly addictive and is currently a popular street drug.
  • Dilaudid(hydromorphone) Dilaudid is used to treat moderately severe to severe pain. It is also very addictive.
  • Neurontin(gabepentin) Neurontin is usually used to treat seizures and offer pain relief for those with shingles. It is not a narcotic and is classified as an analgesic.
  • Duragesic(fentanyl patch) Duragesic is usually used to treat chronic pain and can be very addictive.
  • Cox-2 Inhibitors: There are several common Cox-2 Inhibitors, including Vioxx, Bextra, and Celebrex. They are classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) and have been linked to heart disease and strokes. Currently, Vioxx and Bextra are no longer available in the US, but Celebrex is still available, although it is not as heavily marketed.

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