The Difference between Pain Relievers and Preventive Medication

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2012

Drugs or medicines are made up of chemicals that can help alleviate or prevent certain symptoms of illnesses as well as the ailments themselves. For headaches, there are two classes of drugs that are designed specifically to relieve the pain: these are pain relievers and preventive medication.

Preventive medication is used to reduce the frequency or severity of migraines. These medications don’t actually stop the headaches; it’s like a trial-and-error medication based on the pattern of your headaches. Some examples include cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, and botox. These are often prescription drugs and they are taken regularly.
On the other hand, pain relievers, also known as acute or abortive treatments, are medicines that are taken during the pain attacks. Think of it as “on-the-spot” temporary relief, and sometimes, these acute medications are not enough to relieve the pain. This type of medication includes Tylenol and Aspirin.

Both pain relievers and preventive medication are designed to relieve the pain caused by a headache. It’s the approach that’s different. Of course, you need to be aware of the possible side effects of any drug you might take, whether it’s a pain reliever or preventive medication. For more information on which category of medication suits you best, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.


[Photo Credit: on Flickr]

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