JEREMY WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEREMY WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Painkiller pills. Close-up of painkiller pills spilling out of a bottle. Most common painkillers (or analgesics), such as aspirin, work by preventing the formation of a pain signal within the nerves leading to the brain. Some analgesics, such as codeine, work by blocking the pain signal in the brain. Painkillers are taken to provide short-term relief from headaches, minor cuts and bruises, and rheumatic pain. Severe prolonged pain may be a sign of a more serious disorder and medical advice should be sought.
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