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Can chronic pain be treated with nonprescription drugs?

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Milder forms of pain may be relieved by over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs relieve pain caused by muscle aches and stiffness, and additionally NSAIDs reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). Topical pain relievers are also available, such as creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin to relieve pain and inflammation from sore muscles and arthritis.

From: Pain Management: Treatment Overview WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: The Cleveland Clinic Spine Center, The Center for Integrative Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic, and The Cleveland Clinic Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Chronic Pain Network. WebMD Health News: "FDA Approves Cymbalta for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain." WebMD Health News: "FDA Approves Botox to Treat Chronic Migraines."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 18, 2019

SOURCES: The Cleveland Clinic Spine Center, The Center for Integrative Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic, and The Cleveland Clinic Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Chronic Pain Network. WebMD Health News: "FDA Approves Cymbalta for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain." WebMD Health News: "FDA Approves Botox to Treat Chronic Migraines."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 18, 2019

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When are prescription drugs needed for chronic pain?

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