Medicines that treat sickle cell disease include hydroxyurea and various pain medicines. Some of these medicines require a prescription. Others are available over the counter. Pain medicine may work best when combined with pain management skills, such as distraction; guided imagery; deep breathing; relaxation; and positive, encouraging self-talk.
Pain treatment for sickle cell disease pain varies depending on how bad the pain is and how long the pain lasts. Medicines that treat the pain include over-the-counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen) and prescription opioids (such as codeine). Opiate pain medicines are used under careful medical supervision.