There are many ways to take opioid and non-opioid pain medications.   Most are pills taken by mouth.  For people who have trouble swallowing pills, some medications are available in liquid form or a special tablet or strip that dissolves inside the cheek.  A few pain relievers can be taken in the form of rectal suppositories.  Fentanyl and buprenorphine come in a patch form.  This patch is placed on the skin and releases pain medication continuously over several days.  In cases of severe pain, when oral medications don’t relieve the pain or when a person can’t take medications by mouth, many drugs can be given by injection or by vein (through an IV).

Source:  Susan G. Komen  2019