Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Over-the-counter pain relievers are the most frequently purchased medicines. They can help treat mild-to-moderate pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. There are two main types of over-the-counter pain relievers.
Acetaminophen is used to treat mild-to-moderate pain and reduce fever, but it is not very effective at reducing inflammation. Acetaminophen provides relief from pain by elevating the amount of pain you can tolerate before you experience the feeling of pain. The best-known brand of acetaminophen is Tylenol®, but there are also many generic versions available.
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain, swelling, stiffness and inflammation. Two drugs in this category, ibuprofen and naproxen, also reduce fever. NSAIDs work by reducing the body's production of prostaglandin, an enzyme that sends pain messages to the brain. When these drugs are taken regularly, they build up in the blood to levels that fight pain caused by inflammation and swelling, and also provide general pain relief.
There are several different types of NSAIDs. These include:
- Aspirin (Bayer® Aspirin, Ecotrin®, Excedrin®, St. Joseph's®, and many others)
- Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, and others)
- Ketoprofen (Orudis®)
- Naproxen (Aleve®)
Many over-the-counter pain medications are also available in generic formulas.