Depending on the severity of the pain symptoms, there are different types of painkillers that can provide quick relief, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications. The most common over-the-counter medications are acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which may be useful for muscle aches, reducing fevers and minor pain. However, NSAIDs are beneficial for conditions that cause both inflammation and pain, as noted by Family Doctor.
Acetaminophen can treat different types of pain, including headaches and pain associated with chronic arthritic conditions. Ibuprofen and naproxen are NSAIDs that are beneficial for menstrual cramping and muscles sprains, noted Family Doctor.
When pain is severe and OTC medications do not resolve the symptom, doctors can prescribe stronger painkillers that may work quickly, such as opioids/narcotics, corticosteroids and antidepressants. Corticosteroids can treat conditions that cause pain and inflammation. These prescribed medications can be given either in pill form or as an injection. Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid. Opioid medications can include codeine, hydrocodone and morphine. For migraine headache pain, low doses of an antidepressant may be useful, as stated by WebMD. Some antidepressants are citalopram and doxepin.