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Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain relievers are called analgesics.

Analgesics are so-named due to their ability to alleviate pain. Caution – most analgesic drugs have either minor or severe side effects. Ask your Pharmacist about these side effects.

Types of analgesics:


  • NSAIDs are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs which are used to relieve pain, inflammation and fever – adults and to help reduce the incidence of blood clot formation.
  • A number of risk factors are associated with NSAIDs e.g. stomach ulceration. Care needs to be taken when recommending this type of analgesic. See the NSAIDs and NSAIDs and Stomach Ulceration topic for advice.


  • Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a drug from the NSAIDs group (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
  • It is used in the treatment of pain and fever.
  • It is also used to treat acute rheumatism and to thin the blood and prevent abnormal blood clot formation.
  • Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age unless specified by a Doctor.


  • Paracetamol is an antipyretic (fever reducing) and analgesic (pain relieving) drug. Unlike aspirin it has little anti-inflammatory activity.


  • Codeine is a drug that belongs to the opioid analgesics group of drugs that includes other drugs such as methadone, morphine and pethidine.
  • It is used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain, diarrhoea and dry cough.


If any pain persists it is advisable to seek the advice of a Doctor for a correct diagnosis and treatment. There are many analgesics which can be prescribed by a Doctor which are very effective.

Ask Calanna

Ask your Pharmacist for advice.

  • Remember that if pain persists to see your Doctor.
  • Follow any diet hints suggested for the particular ailment causing the pain e.g. arthritis.
  • Make sure that you are taking the correct analgesic for your particular pain problem.
  • Ask your Pharmacist for the correct dose and how to take the suggested product.
  • Never increase the dose without seeking correct advice.
  • Never take analgesics which have been prescribed for another person.
  • Before taking an analgesic consider other non-drug options e.g. hot water bottle or a cold pack for the forehead.
  • Consider taking some supplements if the diet is inadequate. Prolonged use of aspirin may decrease the body’s levels of Vitamin C.

DISCLAIMER: This information is an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or naturopath before following any medical regimen to see whether it is safe and effective for you.