Pain Medications List (Non-Narcotic)

Based on "Essential Pain Pharmacology"
written by Howard S. Smith, MD; Marco Pappagallo, MD

Many types of analgesics and adjunct agents are available for addressing different pain conditions. Pain medications share their mechanism of action. They all provide analgesic effect by interfering with the pain signaling cascade.

Following is a complete list of pain medications organized by classes and types. The listing is regularly updated and includes latest new drug approvals.

Simple (Non-Opioid) Analgesics

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) Tylenol OTC

Acetaminophen is appropriate for mild to moderate pain. Acetaminophen has very few side effects, low incidence of hypersensitivity reactions, and is relatively inexpensive. Acetaminophen does not produce addiction or tolerance.

The main issue with acetaminophen is a risk of serious hepatotoxicity with overdose.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Aspirin   OTC
Bromfenac Prolensa, Bromday Rx
Diclofenac Cataflam, Voltaren, Zipsor Rx
Diflunisal Dolobid Rx
Etodolac Lodine, Lodine XL Rx
Fenoprofen Nalfon Rx
Flurbiprofen Ansaid Rx
Ibuprofen Advil, Cramp End, Dolgesic, Excedrin IB, Genpril, Haltran, Ibren, Ibu, Ibuprin, Ibuprohm, Ibu-Tab, Medipren, Midol IB, Motrin, Nuprin, Pamprin-IB, Q-Profen, Rufen, Trendar OTC,
Indomethacin Indocin, Indocin SR, Tivorbex Rx
Ketoprofen Actron, Orudis, Oruvail OTC, Rx
Ketorolac Toradol, Sprix Rx
Meclofenamate Meclomen Rx
Mefenamic Acid Ponstel Rx
Meloxicam Mobic, Vivlodex Rx
Nabumetone Relafen Rx
Naproxen Aleve, Anaprox,
Anaprox DS, EC-Naprosyn, Naprelan, Naprosyn
Nepafenac Nevanac Rx
Oxaprozin Daypro Rx
Phenylbutazone Cotylbutazone Rx
Piroxicam Feldene Rx
Sulindac Clinoril Rx
Tolmetin Tolectin, Tolectin DS Rx
COX-2 Inhibitors
Celecoxib Celebrex Rx
See also list of NSAIDs by type

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs represent a wide class of pain relievers. All NSAIDs have varying degrees of anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic properties as well as different side effects, time to onset of action, and duration of action. NSAIDs are used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain, and fever. Aspirin is used to prevent blood clotting.

Combination Pain Relievers

Generic Brand Name
Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine Femcet, Fioricet, Esgic, Esgic-Plus
Butalbital, Aspirin, and Caffeine Fiorinal
Butalbital, acetaminophen, caffeine, and codeine Fioricet with Codeine

Topical Analgesics

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Capsaicin ArthriCare, ARTH-RX, Axsain, Capsagel, Dura-Patch, Methacin, Qutenza, Zotrix, Zotrix-HP OTC

Topical Anesthetics

While analgesics lessen the sensation of pain, anesthetics block all physical feelings, including pain.

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Benzocaine Americaine, Endocaine, Lagol OTC
Benzocaine / Menthol Benzocol, Butyl Aminobenzoate, Dermoplast OTC
Dibucaine Cinchocaine, Nupercainal Cream, Nupercainal Oinment OTC,
Lidocaine LidaMantle, Lidoderm, Lignocainem, Xylocaine Rx
Lidocaine/ Prilocaine EMLA Rx


Medications for Neuropathic Pain

List of drugs approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of neuropathic pain syndromes (nerve pain):

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Carbamazepine Tegretol6 Rx
Duloxetine Cymbalta3 Rx
Gabapentin Neurontin7 Rx
Lidocaine patch Lidoderm8 Rx
Pregabalin Lyrica5 Rx,

Medications for Fibromyalgia

Symptoms of fibromyalgia are managed with pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and sleep medicines.

List of medications approved by the U.S. FDA specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia:

Generic Brand Name Legal status
Duloxetine Cymbalta3 Rx
Milnacipran Savella4 Rx
Pregabalin Lyrica5 Rx,

Related resources


  • 1. New FDA Approved Drugs CenterWatch
  • 2. The Essence of Analgesia and Analgesics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 2011: pp. 211-262.
  • 3. Cymbalta Prescribing Information. Available at PDF
  • 4. Savella Prescribing Information. Available at PDF
  • 5. Lyrica Prescribing Information. Available at PDF
  • 6. Tegretol Prescribing Information. Available at PDF
  • 7. Neurontin Prescribing Information. Available at PDF
  • 8. Lidoderm Prescribing Information. Available at PDF

Last updated: August 06, 2018


Home | Contact Us | Cookies Policy

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here

Copyright 2007-2020 All rights reserved.
All information is for educational purposes only.