Painkillers that are most suitable to relieve inflammatory pain are the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, reports WebMD. Three popular over-the-counter NSAIDs are aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen. Other examples of this type of medication are diclofenac, etodolac, flurbiprofen, fenoprofen and oxaprozin, which are available under prescription.
Pain relievers are of two types, namely acetaminophen and NSAIDs, states WebMD. Acetaminophen reduces pain by influencing certain parts of the brain to block messages of pain. Through this action, acetaminophen can decrease minor pains, headaches and fever.
NSAIDs are also effective against fever and block pain, says WebMD. In addition, they can reduce pain due to inflammation that occurs commonly along with several chronic health problems and injuries. Unlike acetaminophen, NSAIDs decrease prostaglandin levels in the body, which are chemicals that signal inflammation, by inhibiting the action of the enzymes that produce them. By doing so, NSAIDs decrease swelling and the pain associated with it.
Another type of NSAID, the COX-2 inhibitor, also reduces pain caused by inflammation, states WebMD. One example of a COX-2 inhibitor is celecoxib, which is available strictly under prescription. NSAIDs can be used to relieve different kinds of pains such as mild toothache, menstrual cramps, headache, pain due to cold and pain due to arthritis.