Types of painkillers

There are many different types of painkillers. The type you need depends on the type of pain you have. You might need one or more type to help relieve your pain.

Find out about taking painkillers and other drugs for pain control. And get information about possible side effects.


You might take morphine type (opioid) painkillers for mild, moderate and severe pain. 

Non opioid drugs

Non opioid painkillers are often used for mild to moderate pain. You can also take them alongside stronger painkillers for more severe pain.

Other drugs for pain control

You might take other drugs alongside painkillers to help relieve cancer pain. These might be steroids, anti depressants or anti epileptic drugs. 

Last reviewed: 
28 Oct 2020
Next review due: 
20 Oct 2023
Coronavirus and cancer

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