In the age of an opioid epidemic, many people are trying to find an alternative to the dangerous drugs. With such a high addiction rate, the risk of becoming dependent is high no matter who you are. So, what can I take to ease the pain, but also keep my mind at ease? There are plenty of painkiller alternatives out there for you. While they might not offer the same level of pain killing, they offer a safer alternative which will still lessen the pain.

Painkiller Alternatives: What Options Do I Have?

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

While NSAIDs are stronger than other pain relievers, you can still get them over the counter. In addition to fighting pain, these medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, all help to reduce swelling and lower fevers. For the most part, you’ve probably heard of the brand name forms such as Advil, Aleve, Bayer, and Motrin. In addition to these, you can also get them in prescription strengths.

While these may be a suitable painkiller alternatives, they do have some downsides. For example, long term use may cause stomach issues and bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract. In addition, they can increase risk of kidney and liver failure in older patients.


In some cases, corticosteroids– or more commonly called, steroids– can serve as painkiller alternatives. By restraining those injured nerve cells, these steroids can provide pain relief. In addition, they can also work as an anti-inflammatory. However, they do tend to cause further joint damage in some cases. Also, they can cause stomach issues similar to some NSAIDs.


Within a certain group of antidepressants, they can serve as a pain reliever. This group, called tricyclic antidepressants, can help treat nerve pain. In addition, some reuptake inhibitors can also help with chronic pain. But studies show that these do not work for everyone.


It is becoming more and more common for doctors to prescribe these types of drugs as pain relievers. For the most part, they can treat nerve pain and chronic pain. In some cases, patients find them very effective with little side effects. However, for some people, they notice nearly no reduction in their pain. Much like antidepressants, the results can vary.


Cannabidiol is a federally legal compound found in industrial hemp plants. It is essentially holistic medicine, and it is federally legal. You can get it in pill form, gummy, skin cream, or tincture. Ultimately, this provides a non-invasive, all-natural approach to treating your pain. Depending on the method, the onset time is quite fast and the relief is undeniable.

Since some of these drugs can treat the same pain with effectiveness, they may be suitable painkiller alternatives. In most cases, it is a personal preference and something only you can decide. But if you are looking to stay off addictive painkillers, look to some of these painkiller alternatives. But remember, we are just scratching the surface on it. There are plenty of different methods, depending on your preferences. So, do your research, find your method, and get some relief!