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