What Is the Strongest Painkiller?


Quick Answer

The strongest painkiller in use is Sufentanil, as stated by RxList. This opioid is restricted to intravenous use, but a transdermal patch is being tested in clinical trials as of 2015.

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Full Answer

As the strongest opioid, Sufentanil is about 5 to 10 times stronger than Fentanyl. Fentanyl happens to be considered the strongest medication in widespread community use. It is available in patch, lozenge and intravenous form.

Fentanyl is between 70 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Other medications more powerful than morphine include hydromorphone and oxymorphone. Morphine is 10 times more powerful than codeine, a drug commonly prescribed in pill or liquid form by doctors.

Pain treatment requires careful attention by medical professionals to prevent complications from over-medicating or masking symptoms. However, there are some very strong drugs on the market. Most of these are opioids that affect the opioid receptors in the nervous system. They are among the strongest painkillers available for patients. Opioids are effective for quick blocking of pain and can be increased in dosage as patients build up a tolerance, to a point. Very high doses of these medications can cause nausea, itching, constipation and other unpleasant side effects. These medications may not be as useful for the long-term treatment of chronic pain as other drugs, such as anti-inflammatory medications, notes Consumer Reports.

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