Over-the-counter painkillers Category: Over the Counter Painkillers
How it’s used
You can buy a number of pain-relieving medicines without a prescription. These are for treating mild to moderate pain, flu symptoms or high temperatures. If you use them for too long you can become addicted.
- Relieve mild to moderate pain
- Damage to the liver and kidneys
- If you drink alcohol while taking painkillers you increase the negative effects
If you are pregnant
If you use these drugs, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a baby.
As they are so easy to get you may become psychologically addicted, so you feel you need them to cope. Some of them can also cause physical addiction.
If you take more than the recommended dose over a long period you will have withdrawal if you stop suddenly. Withdrawal is less severe if you reduce your dose gradually. You may feel unwell, anxious and uneasy.
How long does it stay in your system?
This depends on what drug you take and how much you take.
What help is available?
- Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
- Support from your doctor to reduce, withdraw, detox and keep off
- Residential treatment programmes
- One to one or group family support
- Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area