Forgotten Pain Medications


Obtaining medication that will alleviate pain can be challenging. The effectiveness of pain medication varies per individual. Some people may have allergies or drug interactions that eliminate the possible use of certain medicine, which can diminish available treatment options. Individuals may be hoping a new medication is developed that is efficient at treating their pain.

Adequate pain treatment may be more likely to resurface from the past than to be developed in the future. There are a number of pain medications that may not be on a physician’s list of options due to lack of familiarity or experience prescribing them. These “forgotten” medications may be older and not used as widely as they once were, or they are not discussed in medical education and training as often as others.

Forgotten pain medications

Several “forgotten” pain medications may be beneficial for individuals who cannot take, or do not respond well, to commonly used pain medicine. Becoming familiar again with certain medications is worth consideration if pain is currently uncontrollable. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Orphenadrine citrate — This is an antispasmodic muscle relaxant which may lower some types of musculoskeletal pain, such as low back pain or neck pain.
  • Tolperisone — As an antispasmodic muscle relaxant, tolperisone may help relieve chronic back pain.
  • Dantrolene — Dantrolene is also an antispasmodic muscle relaxant that may ease spasticity associated with upper motor neuron disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injury.
  • Choline magnesium trisalicylate — This medication is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with similar properties to aspirin. It is a good option for those who are prescribed Lithium. It is used to treat moderate pain, fever, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
  • Phenytoin — A known antiepileptic drug, phenytoin, may be applied topically to treat neuropathic or fibromyalgia pain.
  • Mexiletine — Mexiletine is most commonly used as a heart medication; however, it can also be prescribed for neuropathic pain.
  • Maprotiline — This is an antidepressant that may relieve chronic tension headaches.
  • Butorphanol — As an opioid medication, butorphanol may be prescribed for moderate to severe pain and preoperative pain.
  • Nalbuphine — Nalbuphine is an opioid medication once used for moderate to severe pain, preoperative pain, and labor pain.
  • Levorphanol — This opioid medication may be prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
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