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The Top 15 Painkillers in Nigeria

The Top 15 Painkillers in Nigeria: Pain relief medications, also known as analgesics, are drugs that are used to relieve pain. They work by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain or by interfering with the brain’s interpretation of those signals. Painkillers are vital in healthcare as they allow people to manage both acute and chronic pain. In Nigeria, there are many different painkillers available, both over-the-counter and prescription. This article will provide an overview of the top 15 most common and popular pain relief medications in Nigeria. For each painkiller, key features and locations where they can be accessed will be highlighted.

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The Top Painkillers in Nigeria

1. Paracetamol

Paracetamol, also known by the brand name Panadol, is one of the most widely used painkillers in Nigeria. It is typically the first choice for mild to moderate pain and is available without a prescription. Paracetamol works by inhibiting COX enzymes which are responsible for producing prostaglandins that cause pain and fever. It is commonly used for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, toothaches, and to reduce fever. Paracetamol comes in tablet, capsule, syrup, and suppository forms. It can be purchased affordably at pharmacies and drug stores nationwide.

2. Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is another over-the-counter medication that is commonly used for painkillers in Nigeria, fever, and inflammation. It works by blocking COX enzymes. Some popular brands of ibuprofen in Nigeria include Brufen and Fenpaed. Ibuprofen comes in tablet, capsule, and syrup forms. It provides relief for mild to moderate pain from headaches, toothaches, muscle pain, menstrual cramps, and joint/arthritis pain. Ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory properties and can be obtained at pharmacies across the country.The Top 15 Painkillers in Nigeria

3. Diclofenac

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) available in Nigeria for treating pain, fever, and inflammation. Brand names include Voltaren, Cataflam, and Diclokin. It works by inhibiting COX enzymes thereby reducing prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation. Diclofenac comes as tablets, injections, creams/gels, and eye drops. It offers relief for muscle sprains and joint pain from arthritis. Diclofenac requires a prescription and is sold at pharmacies.School of Basic Midwifery Awgu Admission Form 2023/2024

4. Tramadol

Tramadol is a strong prescription painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain. Common brands are Tramal and Tramaking. It works by modifying the body’s pain perception. Tramadol comes in capsules, tablets, injections, and liquid syrups. In Nigeria it is mainly prescribed for chronic pain from conditions like cancer, back/neck problems, and fibromyalgia. Due to its potency, tramadol has a high potential for dependence and abuse and is a controlled substance. It is only available with a doctor’s prescription.Romantic Love Messages

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5. Codeine

Codeine is a mild opiate analgesic found in combination drugs such as co-codamol in Nigeria. It relieves mild to moderate pain by depressing the central nervous system. Codeine requires a prescription and is found in tablet, liquid, and injectable forms combined with paracetamol or aspirin. It is commonly prescribed for pain relief after surgery and for arthritic pain. Brand names include Solpadol and Panadeine. Codeine should be used cautiously due to its addictiveness.10 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Wyoming

6. Morphine

Morphine is a very strong opioid pain medication used for severe acute and chronic pain. In Nigeria, it is available in injectable, oral, liquid, and suppository forms. Morphine relieves pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. It is strictly a prescription drug and administered in hospitals for pain after major surgery or trauma. It is also used for terminal illnesses like cancer. Morphine is addictive and dosage needs to be closely monitored by a doctor.105 Good Morning Love Message

7. Piroxicam

Piroxicam is a prescription NSAID pain reliever used for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Brand names are Feldene, Brexicam, and Pirox. It can only be prescribed by a doctor and is available as capsules and gel. Piroxicam should be taken with food to minimize side effects like stomach upset. It works by inhibiting COX enzymes leading to reduced inflammation and pain relief. Piroxicam is sold primarily at pharmacies.

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8. Dipyrone

Dipyrone, also known as metamizole, is a common prescription and over-the-counter analgesic taken orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly for pain relief. It reduces pain, fever, and inflammation by inhibiting COX enzymes. Dipyrone is sold under the brand names Novalgin and Analgin in tablets, injections, drops, and suppositories. It is used for treating postoperative pain, colic pain, cancer pain, migraine headaches, and fever in children and adults. Dipyrone should be avoided by people with certain blood disorders.

9. Celecoxib

Celecoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor NSAID sold under the brand name Celebrex for arthritis pain and inflammation relief. It specifically blocks COX-2 enzymes while having little effect on COX-1 enzymes. Celecoxib comes as oral capsules that require a doctor’s prescription. It is used for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and painful menstruation. Celecoxib has lower gastrointestinal side effects compared to other NSAIDs and is available at pharmacies.Information Guide Nigeria

10. Tramadol/Paracetamol

This combination medication pairs the opioid tramadol with the analgesic paracetamol for enhanced pain relief. Common brand names are Ultracet and Doreta. It provides relief for moderate to moderately severe pain including musculoskeletal pain and migraine headaches. The synergistic effects of the two drugs allow lower dosages and reduced side effects. Tramadol/Paracetamol combination tablets can be obtained with a prescription from pharmacies.

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11. Naproxen

Naproxen is an over-the-counter and prescription NSAID sold as tablets, capsules, gels, creams, and suppositories under brands like Aleve and Naprosyn. It alleviates pain, fever, and inflammation by inhibiting COX enzymes. Naproxen is used for arthritis, muscle aches, headaches, toothaches, and menstrual cramps. It should be taken with food and avoided by those with cardiovascular disease or bleeding disorders. Naproxen is widely available at pharmacies across Nigeria.

12. Meloxicam

Meloxicam is an NSAID prescribed for arthritis pain and inflammation relief with fewer gastrointestinal side effects than other NSAIDs. It is sold under brands like Movalis, Melox, and Recombivax HB. Meloxicam blocks COX-2 more selectively over COX-1. It comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms. Doctors prescribe meloxicam for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. It can be purchased at pharmacies with a prescription.

13. Tizanidine

Tizanidine is a muscle relaxant and pain reliever used to manage spasticity from conditions like multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. It is sold under brand names Zanaflex and Tizan. Tizanidine works centrally by reducing excitatory neurotransmitters. It comes in tablet and capsule forms requiring a doctor’s prescription. By relaxing muscles, tizanidine helps ease painful muscle spasms and is sold primarily at pharmacies.NYSC Portal

14. Etoricoxib

Etoricoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor NSAID prescribed to treat arthritis and gout pain. It is marketed under the brand name Arcoxia and comes in tablet form. Etoricoxib provides analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by blocking COX-2 enzymes with fewer GI side effects than nonselective NSAIDs. It is prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout flares, and ankylosing spondylitis. Etoricoxib requires a doctor’s prescription and is available at pharmacies.

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15. Acetaminophen/Oxycodone

This combination medication pairs the opioid oxycodone with the analgesic acetaminophen. Common brands are Percocet and Endocet. It is used for relief of moderate to severe acute pain requiring an opioid analgesic. The synergistic effects provide enhanced pain relief allowing lower dosages of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is available as tablets and liquids requiring a doctor’s prescription. Acetaminophen/oxycodone combination drugs have high abuse potential.JAMB Portal


There is a wide variety of painkillers in Nigeria ranging from over-the-counter drugs like paracetamol to strong opioid medications that require prescriptions. The most commonly used painkillers are NSAIDs like ibuprofen and diclofenac which alleviate pain by reducing inflammation. Stronger prescription opioids such as morphine and codeine are reserved for severe or chronic pain. Combination drugs are also commonly used, pairing an analgesic with an opioid for greater pain relief. It is important to take pain relievers carefully by following dosages on the label or as prescribed. Seeking medical advice can ensure pain medications are taken appropriately for the condition being treated.


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