This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Analgesia means literally without pain. In medicine it is used to describe the methods used to reduce pain without the loss of consciousness, most frequently drug-related. However, a variety of techniques can be used to relieve pain:

  • prevention, e.g. pre-emptive analgesia
  • treat primary cause, e.g. surgery
  • inhibit the peripheral generation of pain signals, e.g. NSAIDs
  • inhibit peripheral neural transmission, e.g. local anaesthetic
  • stimulate inhibitory mechanisms in the spinal cord, e.g. acupuncture
  • inhibit ascending transmission in the spinal cord, e.g. anterolateral cordotomy
  • stimulate supraspinal inhibitory pathways, e.g. opioids
  • change the emotional content of pain, e.g. psychotropic drugs
  • alter behavioural response to pain, e.g. conditioning

Broadly speaking analgesic drugs may be subdivided according to their strengths into mild, moderate and potent.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.