Analgesics versus anti-inflammatories
AN ANALGESIC is a simple painkilling drug – such as paracetamol and aspirin – that works either by blocking pain signals to the brain, or interfering with the brain’s interpretation of these signals.
These are commonly used for headaches, toothache and residual pain after surgery. An antiinflammatory is a specific type of analgesic, including ibuprofen and diclofenac, which eases pain by reducing the production of enzymes called prostaglandins which promote inflammation, pain and fever.
Anti-inflammatories are commonly used to treat joint pain associated with arthritis, as well as period pain and muscle strains.