million Britons live with chronic pain, according to last week’s
public health report by the Chief Medical Officer. Meanwhile, millions
of others will suffer sporadically from acute pain.
But what to
take for this pain? One of the challenges for patients and their
doctors is that there is a wide range of analgesics – painkillers
– to choose from. Should you opt for over-the-counter aspirin, paracetamol
or ibuprofen, and, if so, what dosage? Or should you seek a prescription
for something else?
Now pain experts
at Oxford University have put together the first league table of
common painkillers based on their effectiveness for treating moderate
to severe acute pain.
Moore, consultant pain specialist at Oxford, explains: ‘To produce
the league table, we looked at all the analgesics which have been
tested in placebo-controlled trials.’ These trials involved more
than 20,000 people.