Many doctors choose to combine two or more types of medications in the topical preparation. Commonly, it may include one or more of the following:

  • Adjunct pain relievers:  These medications reduce pain by blocking transmission of a pain signal to the brain.  Examples: amitriptyline and imipramine
  • Anesthetics:  Anesthetics relieve pain, and when used topically can be applied directly to a specific problem area.  Examples: benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine
  • Muscle relaxants:  A muscle relaxant reduces the contractility of the muscle by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses. Examples: baclofen, magnesium, and cyclobenzaprine
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):  NSAIDs can offer quick pain relief, especially when there is inflammation involved. Inflammation (swelling, redness) in the joints and tissues, not only cause pain, but can affect movement in some cases.  Examples: ketoprofen, diclofenac, and flurbiprofen.


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