Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to analgesic: Analgesic drugs


(ăn'əljē`zĭk), any of a diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain. Analgesic drugs include the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugsnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug,
a drug that suppresses inflammation in a manner similar to steroids, but without the side effects of steroids; commonly referred to by the acronym NSAID .
..... Click the link for more information.
 (NSAIDs) such as the salicylatessalicylate
, any of a group of analgesics, or painkilling drugs, that are derivatives of salicylic acid. The best known is acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. Now often made synthetically, they were originally derived from salicin,
..... Click the link for more information.
, acetaminophenacetaminophen
, an analgesic and fever-reducing medicine. It is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines, including Tylenol and Midol. Introduced in the early 1900s, acetaminophen is a coal tar derivative that acts by interfering with the synthesis of
..... Click the link for more information.
, narcoticnarcotic,
any of a number of substances that have a depressant effect on the nervous system. The chief narcotic drugs are opium, its constituents morphine and codeine, and the morphine derivative heroin.

See also drug addiction and drug abuse.
..... Click the link for more information.
 drugs such as morphinemorphine,
principal derivative of opium, which is the juice in the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It was first isolated from opium in 1803 by the German pharmacist F. W. A. Sertürner, who named it after Morpheus, the god of dreams.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and synthetic drugs with morphinelike action such as meperidine (Demerol) and propoxyphene (Darvon). Aspirinaspirin,
acetyl derivative of salicylic acid (see salicylate) that is used to lower fever, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and thin the blood. Common conditions treated with aspirin include headache, muscle and joint pain, and the inflammation caused by rheumatic fever and
..... Click the link for more information.
 and other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofenibuprofen
, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces pain, fever, and inflammation. Along with naproxen and ketoprofen, ibuprofen belongs to the propionic acid class of NSAIDs. It was first made available in 1967.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and naproxennaproxen
and naproxen sodium,
potent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to alleviate the minor pain of arthritis, menstruation, headaches, and the like, and to reduce fever.
..... Click the link for more information.
) reduce fever and inflammation as well as relieve pain. Narcotic analgesics and the morphinelike synthetic drugs depress the central nervous system and alter the perception of pain. They are used to alleviate pain not relieved by the NSAIDs. NSAIDs and other analgesics are also used in combination, as in Tylenol with codeine and Darvocet (Darvon and acetaminophen). Recently, patient-controlled analgesic techniques have been introduced, in which patients have the option of injecting small quantities of narcotic type analgesics to control their own pain. Microprocessor-controlled injections may be made through intravenous catheters, or through a catheter into the epidural (covering of the spinal cord) area. In addition to analgesic drugs, various techniques, such as acupunctureacupuncture
, technique of traditional Chinese medicine, in which a number of very fine metal needles are inserted into the skin at specially designated points. For thousands of years acupuncture has been used, along with herbal medicine, for pain relief and treatment of various
..... Click the link for more information.
, hypnosis (see hypnotismhypnotism
[Gr.,=putting to sleep], to induce an altered state of consciousness characterized by deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility. The term was originally coined by James Braid in 1842 to describe a phenomenon previously known as animal magnetism or mesmerism (see
..... Click the link for more information.
), and biofeedbackbiofeedback,
method for learning to increase one's ability to control biological responses, such as blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate. Sophisticated instruments are often used to measure physiological responses and make them apparent to the patient, who then tries
..... Click the link for more information.
, are used to alleviate pain.



a medicinal substance that relieves pain. Analgesics are a structurally varied group of medicines. Narcotic analgesics (seeNARCOTIC) are distinguished from nonnarcotic analgesics. The latter group comprises derivatives of salicylic acid, pyrazolone, aniline, and indole; in addition to being analgesics, these derivatives are antipyretics and anti-inflammatories. Amidopyrine, analgin, butadion, phenacetin, acetyl-salicylic acid, and other similar preparations are used for musculoarticulatory pains, neuralgias, headaches, and toothaches, but they are only mildly effective against acute pain caused by traumas or spasms in the smooth musculature.

Analgesics alter the body’s sensitivity to pain by predominantly affecting brain centers and/or the pituitary-adrenal system. Nonnarcotic analgesics, in contrast to narcotic analgesics, anesthetizing remedies, and anesthetics (seeANESTHETIC), do not influence any senses other than touch and do not affect mental functioning or the coughing and respiratory centers. Furthermore, nonnarcotic anesthetics are not somnifacient or addictive. (SeeANTIPYRETICS.)


Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologiia nervnoi sistemy. Moscow, 1953.
Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologiia. Moscow, 1966.
Mashkovskii, M. D. Lekarstvennye sredstva, part 1. Moscow, 1972.


Any drug, such as salicylates, morphine, or opiates, used primarily for the relief of pain.


1. of or causing analgesia
2. a substance that produces analgesia
References in periodicals archive ?
Labopharm's lead in-house product, a once-daily formulation of the analgesic tramadol, has been approved in France and the company has initiated the Mutual Recognition Procedure process, which will facilitate regulatory approval across the European Union.
Analgesics (painkillers) are designed to relieve pain, but if these drugs (both prescription and nonprescription) are overused, they can actually cause headaches.
During 2001-2004, 24% of elderly patients with OA in the Geisinger system were on a narcotic-only for pain relief, 15% were on a narcotic analgesic plus a COX-2-selective NSAID, and 13% were on COX-2-selective NSAID monotherapy But 2005-2009, 56% of patients were on monotherapy with a narcotic analgesic, 9% were on a narcotic plus a-selective NSAID, and 2% were on COX-2-selective NSAID monotherapy.
These certified education programs will be designed to ensure that the benefits of ER/LA opioid analgesics outweigh the risks in patients whose clinicians have determined these medications to be an appropriate treatment option.
Some of those who reported pain but no analgesic use tried physical therapy (86%), massage therapy (8%), or other alternative measures for pain control, but still reported having pain on a regular basis, said Dr.
Loxonin poultice is a hydrophilic preparation containing the same constituents as Loxonin pills and Loxonin powder, which is one of the leading brands among orally administered analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs in Japan.
Nonetheless, epibatidine inspired the investigators at Abbott to explore whether some of the nicotine analogs being developed by the company for other medical purposes might equal the frog toxin's analgesic prowess--but not its toxicity.
Absorption of narcotic from the muscle takes over 30 to 40 minutes before a peak analgesic effect is achieved.
Identifying capsaicin's receptor may help researchers design an improved form of the analgesic that would help people with chronic pain by inhibiting or destroying pain-sensing nerves.
APAP is the safest and least expensive peripheral analgesic.
Piero Dolara, a chemist at the University of Florence in Italy, and his colleagues find that secretions of the thorny, flowering shrub Commiphora-prized by ancient Mediterraneans for medicine, perfume, and embalming-indeed possess long-rumored analgesic properties.