Many different drugs are used to treat
cancer pain. If you are already taking pain medicine
for another problem, tell your doctor how often you are taking it and how well
The key to controlling cancer pain is to take your
medicine on a regular schedule. Do not wait until your pain gets bad. Pain is
easier to control when you treat it just after it starts. Painkilling drugs
work to control cancer pain in most people.
For more information, U.S. residents may call the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. A trained Cancer Information Specialist is available to answer your questions.
The NCI's LiveHelp® online chat service provides Internet users with the ability to chat online with an Information Specialist. The...
Be careful when taking nonprescription medicines. Talk with your doctor before you take these medicines, especially if you have a fever or have had kidney or liver disease,
gastrointestinal bleeding, or a stomach ulcer. And don't take more than the label says, unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Medicines you can buy without a
prescription may be enough to relieve your pain at times. These medicines include:
People who have cancer pain often
need stronger medicines that their doctors prescribe. Be sure to follow your
doctor's orders when you take these stronger medicines. If you still have pain,
call your doctor.
Prescription medicines may be used alone or with
other medicines. Depending on your pain, some of these medicines work better than
others. Prescription medicines include:
Other medicines that may be used with opiate pain relievers. These medicines may be given to help your pain medicine work better or to treat your symptoms. Or they may be given for certain types of pain. These include:
Through the nose. Medicine in a nasal spray can be absorbed into the body quickly.
Medical marijuana also may help relieve cancer pain. It is available as marijuana cigarettes or as dronabinol, which is made from an active ingredient of marijuana. Dronabinol is available as a capsule.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 22, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this