Healthy Living

Chickenpox: What is an Analgesic?

Chickenpox: What is an Analgesic?

Key Takeaways

  • Analgesics or painkillers are a group of drugs that is used to create analgesia used in relieving the pain of the body. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the second type of analgesic that helps in relieving pain in people and also reducing fever in people. 
  • Immunoglobulin is also used for protection against the chickenpox disease.

Analgesics or painkillers are a group of drugs that is used to create analgesia used in relieving the pain of the body. The analgesic drugs help in treating the body in different parts of the body from the central nervous system and the peripheral body side. These drugs are different from the anesthetics, and they sometimes help relieve itchy skin. These drugs include paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and acetaminophen.

The pain during fever or due to some injury is initiated due to the information that is sent to brain from different parts of the body, and thus, the brain produces specific pain stimulating signals, which are then passed onto the specific parts of the body. The analgesics can be mild analgesics, strong opiates, general anesthetics, and local anesthetics. All of these analgesics work in a different way inside the body to achieve relief from the pain.

The mild analgesics are used for relief from the mild pain, and they act by blocking the synthesis of prostaglandins by increasing the temperature of the body through the restriction of flow of the blood in the blood vessels. The mild analgesics are therefore used to reduce inflammation, fever, and pain. These are mostly used for relieving pain during chickenpox. The patients with severe pain are administered with the strong opiates, such as morphine, codeine, etc. The general anesthetics function by acting on the brain, thereby producing an insensitivity to the pain and initiating unconsciousness that is reversible. Some analgesics also alter the brain chemistry for producing pain-relief and can be addictive.

Morphine is an opioid pain medication which is sometimes also called as narcotics. This medicine is used mainly to treat pain ranging from moderate to severe. For around the clock treatment to relieve from pain one can also go in for the extended release form of morphine. There are certain precautions to be taken if you have been prescribed morphine. This medicine should not be taken if you are suffering from severe case of asthma or problems related to breathing. Also ensure to avoid this medicine if suffering from obstruction of the bowel and stomach blockage. There are chances that intake of morphine can lead to slowing down or stopping the breathing process hence this medicine should not be used in larger amounts or for durations longer than prescribed by the doctor. This medicine can tend to become a habit forming drug hence one should not share this medicine with anyone else, especially in those cases who has a history of drug abuse or is addicted to drugs.

Codeine is also part of opioid pain medication and is sometimes termed as narcotic. This medicine is used to treat pain which range from moderate to severe. Codeine should not be used by those individuals who have trouble in breathing, blockage in the stomach or the intestines, having frequent attacks of asthma. Codeine similar to morphine can slow down or stop the breathing process and is also a habit forming drug. If this medicine is misused then it can lead to overdose, addiction and in severe cases it can result in death of the individual. This can specially happen to children to those individuals who have not been prescribed this medicine. Also it is not advisable for those pregnant women since it can lead to withdrawal symptoms in the baby. Having this medicine along with alcohol can lead to severe consequences.

Various classes exist for the analgesic drugs. Each drug is used differently in treating different types of pains, and the patient should get the full medication for the disease to be gone. These drugs are separated depending on the chemical composition of the drug, and they can also be classified based on the many ways they are used in treating the medical condition and sometimes depending on the population that is going to use the medication. They can also be classified based on the area that the medicine will be used to treat.

Paracetamol is the first type of the analgesics which is mostly applied in treating the fever and also the pain that may result from chickenpox. This drug is primarily administered for the little pain experienced, and it is not used for severe pain. Sometimes this medication can be used in the treatment of extreme pain in an individual when put together with an opioid pain medicine in reducing pain for cancer patients and sometimes after one has undergone an operation. The medicine can be swallowed through the mouth, and it can be given to a child through the rectal area. It can also be given to an individual through injection of the veins. The result can be experienced from two to five hours later. Paracetamol is considered the least harmful, and this is considered not harmful for the majority of patients.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the second type of analgesic that helps in relieving pain in people and also reducing fever in people. Sometimes these drugs are used to clear off the inflammatory effect. Some of the drugs that are used for this purpose include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. This drug is found all over the pharmacies in the world. These drugs are not addictive and hence are preferred for taking once sick.

Analgesics do not help in fighting against the chickenpox virus, since they are not antiviral medications, but they are still many times used for the symptomatic management of the chickenpox. This medication basically helps the patient in getting relief from the pain that accompanies the fever during chickenpox. The children are usually not administered with aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because of their possible interaction with the infection of the necrotizing soft tissues. It is of utmost importance to consult the doctor before consuming any type of analgesic so that any complications can be prevented. The self-medication can sometime prove to be harmful for the patient with any condition, including the chickenpox.

There are many patients who do not need to consume the analgesics during the chickenpox, simply because they are not having any fever and pain. Since chickenpox is a viral infection, the best medication to treat the condition itself includes the antiviral medications that work by attacking the virus inside the body and stopping their growth.

The viral drugs that can be used to treat the chickenpox disease include acicthlovir, which can be given to the new babies that are born, the pregnant mothers, those who have very weak immunity, and the adults that get the disease. This type of drug is supposed to be administered to one within a day of getting the infection and a rash appearing. This drug can treat the disease at very early stages, but, in the later stages, it is used to make the disease less severe to an individual.

Immunoglobulin is also used for the protection against the chickenpox disease. This varicella immunoglobulin has antibodies that fight the chickenpox virus. This drug is given to a person through an injection through the veins. These drugs help in protecting an individual who has a very high affinity for the disease. These people comprise the newborn children, the women who are pregnant, and the people with a very poor immune system, and hence they need the strengthening of the immune system.

For the women who are pregnant, this immunoglobulin is given to them to ensure the protection of the children that have yet to be born. These drugs are very expensive; hence, they are given to an individual during very extreme pain. This drug helps one when he or she had direct contact during sneezing or coughing. He or she can also receive this drug if he or she was in a room for over ten minutes with someone who had the disease. Lastly, they can help one who had no chickenpox before, and this is the first time of getting the infection.

Let’s group down the analgesic in three different categories:

  • Simple analgesic
  • Non -Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs
  • Opiods

Each of these groups have different drugs under them as well as frequent case of additions. Below are the commonly used ones under each of these categories:

Simple Analgesic – The commonly used analgesic are,

  • Paracetamol (Nurofen)
  • Aspirin – (Aspro, Dispirin)

Non -Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs – The commonly used NSAIDs are:

  • Naproxen Sodium (Naprogesic)
  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen)
  • Diclfenac Sodium (Voltaren)

Opiods – These are further grouped into two:

Weaker:

  • Tramadol hydrochloride (e.g. brand names – Tramal, Tramhexal)
  • Includes combinations of codeine phosphate (Nurofen plus, Panadeine forte, Mersyndol)
  • Dextropropoxyphe hydrochloride & paracetamol (e.g. brand name – Paradex, Di-gesic)

Stronger:

  • Pethidine Hydrochloride
  • Morphine sulphate (MS Mono, kapanol)
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin)

NSAIDs are the commonly known analgesic and they are easily available as over the counter medicine. NSAIDs are known to provide relief from pain and also suppress inflammation and lead to reduction in fever. NSAIDs work by blocking the COX or cyclooxygenase which is an enzyme available in various tissues and it produces the chemical mediators which are the main cause of inflammation, fever and its related pain. Tylenol is also an analgesic drug which helps in reducing pain but it does not have an effect on the inflammation due to which it is not included as part of an NSAID. Corticosteroids or steroids cannot be exactly termed as a painkiller but the medicines are anti-inflammatory. Due to this inflammatory process, it helps in a great deal to reduce pain. opioids help in relieving pain by binding the opioid receptors in the central nervous system, thus they are also called as narcotics. They provide relief from moderate to severe form of pain.

Many individuals can take in NSAIDs and simple forms of analgesic without getting addicted to them or forming any kind of dependencies. When it comes to opioids, there can be cases when the individual would start to be dependent on them. They can develop a tolerance level to the medications which would result in reducing the efficiency level of the medicine. Along with tolerance follows the breakthrough withdrawal, this can lead to worse pain. One of the common examples would be the analgesic rebound headaches which would lead the patient to take in more number of pills so that the ever increasing pain reduces. This becomes a chronic headache and very difficult to get this treated. If the pain is chronic and of any type, then such pain is difficult to be treated due to the effect of tolerance. Opioids use for longer duration would develop a kind of physical dependency hence it is very much essential that one should not increase the limit of medication more than required or take the medicine for longer than recommended dose. Below is the list of certain problems which are associated with the use of analgesic:

NSAIDs: In those individuals who are already at risk, doses larger than recommended can cause severe life threatening effects such as impact to the heart or blood circulation which can lead to stroke or heart attacks. With prolonged use, the risk of having a medical condition would also increase. There is a potential harm to the gastrointestinal system which would include ulcers or internal bleedings. If severe any of these conditions can prove to be fatal for the body, also one should note that gastrointestinal effects can occur any time without any prior warning during the intake of NSAIDs. The elderly people would be at a greater risk of having severe side effects of gastrointestinal system. Longer duration usage can lead to damage to the kidneys.

Paracetamol: Paracetamol is termed as a harmless medicine even if it is used for longer period with the recommended daily dose. If the dosage is increased then due to the higher dosage, the liver and kidneys can be harmed. In certain rare cases it can lead to failure of the heart. Paracetamol dosages also can lead to potential damage to the auditory nerves.

Aspirin: Aspirin long has not been recommended as an ideal medicine for children and pregnant women. Also it is not recommended for those suffering from certain kind of medical condition such as stomach ulcers or those having asthma. Aspirin taken in doses which are more than recommended can lead to damage to the kidneys.

Final Thoughts

Various types of analgesics can be used to obtain relief from the pain and fever associated with chickenpox.