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over the counter painkillers
Transcript of over the counter painkillers
Type of medicine:
Treatment of pain, fever, headache, toothache and period pains
Tablets, dispersible tablets, enteric-coated tablets and suppositories
Can Aspirin cause problems
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
More About Aspirin
Aspirin is used to relieve pain such as headache, toothache and period pain. It is also used to treat cold and 'flu-like' symptoms and reduce fever in adults (over 16 years of age). Aspirin may also be used to reduce inflammation in muscular aches and pains, but other anti-inflammatory medicines are often preferred.
Aspirin works by reducing the production of chemicals called prostaglandins which cause pain.
Aspirin is also used in lower doses to reduce the stickiness of platelets in the blood, which helps to prevent unwanted blood clots from forming within the body. There is more information about this in a separate leaflet called 'Aspirin anti-platelet'.
How it works
Ibuprofen works as a painkiller by affecting chemicals in the body called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are substances released in response to illness or injury. They cause pain and inflammation (swelling). Prostaglandins that are released in your brain can cause a high temperature (fever).
The painkilling effect of ibuprofen begins soon after a dose is taken, but the anti-inflammatory effect will take longer to begin. It can sometimes take up to three weeks to get the best results.
Ibuprofen is a medicine that is used to:
•ease mild to moderate pain, such as toothache, migraines and period pain
•ease the pain and inflammation (redness and swelling) caused by rheumatic diseases (conditions that affect the joints) and musculoskeletal disorders (conditions that affect the bones and muscles), such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
•control a fever (a high temperature)
•ease the pain and swelling caused by sprains and strains, such as sports injuries
Side effects of ibuprofen
Common side effects of ibuprofen include:
•nausea (feeling sick)
•vomiting (being sick)
•diarrhoea (passing loose, watery stools)
•abdominal (tummy) pain
How it works
Paracetamol works as a painkiller by affecting chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are substances released in response to illness or injury. Paracetamol blocks the production of prostaglandins, making the body less aware of the pain or injury.
Paracetamol reduces temperature by acting on the area of the brain that is responsible for controlling temperature.
Paracetamol is a medicine that is used to:
•ease mild to moderate pain – for example, headaches, sprains, toothache or the symptoms of a cold
•control a fever (high temperature, also known as pyrexia) – for example, when someone has the flu (influenza)
In England paracetamol is available without prescription from a GP.
over the counter painkillers
Important: aspirin may cause allergic reactions; this is more common in people who have asthma. Stop taking this medicine and speak with your doctor or the accident and emergency department of your local hospital immediately, if you experience:
•Any swelling of the lips, mouth or throat.
•Any wheezing or breathing problems.
•A sudden skin rash.
If you experience any unusual bleeding or any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Ibuprofen belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
In England, products containing ibuprofen are available to buy without prescription from a GP.
Ibuprofen is made by many different pharmaceutical manufacturers, and is sold under many different brand names. Ibuprofen products come in a wide range of forms, including tablets or caplets, gels, sprays, and liquids.
In some products, ibuprofen is combined with other ingredients. For example, it is sometimes combined with a decongestant (a type of medicine that provides short-term relief for a blocked nose) and sold as a cold and flu remedy.
Less common side effects include:
•fluid retention (bloating)
•raised blood pressure
•gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)
•duodenal or gastric ulcers (open sores in the digestive system, see Peptic ulcer)
•allergic reactions, such as a rash
•worsening of asthma symptoms by causing bronchospasm (narrowing of airways)
Types of paracetamol products
Paracetamol is sold by a range of manufacturers, under many different brand names.
It is also often combined with other ingredients. For example, it can be combined with a decongestant medicine and sold as a cold and flu remedy.