Ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol… what pain reliever should be taken for each pain according to the doctor

, 08/14/2023 – 7:40 pm

Analgesics are the most commonly consumed drugs. There are many types, although there are three main ones that we can find in pharmacies and eat when we are in pain. But not all are indicated for the same cases.

Dr Deepak Raveendran is Clinical Lead for Painkillers at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation, and has been interviewed by The Sun to explain the advantages, disadvantages, indications and maximum doses for each painkiller.

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It’s best for: Relieving pain, such as a backache, toothache, or mild headache. Lowers temperature and reduces inflammation.

SIDE EFFECTS: Dangerously toxic to the liver in high doses.

Dosage: For adults, 500 mg to 1 gram every four to six hours, up to a maximum of eight 500 mg tablets in 24 hours. If the pain is intense, paracetamol can be replaced with ibuprofen every four hours.


Best for: Severe muscle pain after an injury or tooth extraction. Along with menstrual pain, it helps to relax the abdominal muscles that can cause menstrual cramps.

SIDE EFFECTS: Slow bowel movements, constipation, dizziness, and drowsiness may occur.

Dosage: 8 mg tablets not more than four times in 24 hours. GPs can prescribe higher doses.

Don’t take it if: You have liver, kidney or lung problems. Do not take it regularly as it is highly addictive. You can also build up tolerance, which will make it less effective.

Additional Benefits: Helps suppress dry or irritating cough.


Best for: Inflammatory pain and chronic pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoarthritis.

Side effects: May irritate the lining of the stomach, causing indigestion and nausea. In the long run, it can cause gastric ulcers. Regular use can cause kidney and liver damage, as well as increase blood pressure.

Dosage: Maximum 1,200 mg in 24 hours.

Do not take if you have a stomach ulcer or gastric disorder.

Added benefit: One study found that anti-inflammatory agents like ibuprofen can curb bad moods.

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