News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Be Medicinewise This National Pain Week

Be Medicinewise This National Pain Week

This National Pain Week (21 – 27 July 2014), NPS MedicineWise is urging people living with pain to know how to use pain relieving medicines safely, and to have a conversation with their health professional about both the type and dose of pain relief medicine that are right for them.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says that it’s important to take painkillers as directed; for anyone living with pain, and especially the estimated one in five Australians living with chronic pain.

“All pain relieving medicines, including non-prescription varieties, have possible risks as well as benefits,” says Dr Boyden.

“Unwanted effects can occur if you take a larger dose of a pain reliever than needed, if it interacts with another medicine you are taking, or is used by people with certain health conditions.

“We’ve seen some recent research from the University of Sydney showing that a significant number of older Australians are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on a regular basis, and many are using them for longer than is recommended and without taking precautions to minimise harmful side-effects.

“The NSAIDs group of medicines includes ibuprofen and diclofenac. Many of these are readily available in pharmacies as well as in supermarkets and convenience stores.

“It’s worrying to think people might be taking them for longer than the guidelines recommend. Consumers should be aware — and health professionals should be reminded — that generally NSAIDs should be used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible duration. Longer term use should only be undertaken after carefully considering the risks and benefits on an individual basis.”

Research from the University of Wollongong presented at the National Medicines Symposium earlier this year also highlighted the dangers of people taking common pain relieving medicines such as NSAIDs without thinking about the potential risks or harms.

Out of 263 people surveyed about over-the-counter NSAIDs containing the active ingredient ibuprofen, more than 1 in 5 respondents (22%) thought that these medicines cause no possible side effects, which of course is not true for any medicine.

“It’s important for people to be medicinewise with their pain relievers — always ask your doctor if the treatment is necessary, about possible side effects, for how long you can safely take the medication. Also, confirm the correct dosage and ensure you understand directions on how to take the medicine,” says Dr Boyden.

Anyone with questions or concerns about their pain relief medicine should check with their doctor or pharmacist about which pain reliever is safest for them.

“When you seek medical advice, make sure you tell your pharmacist or doctor about any of your other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including any other pain relievers you may be taking as well as any complementary medicines such as herbal preparations, as these are medicines too and so have risks and benefits like any other medicine,” he says.

NPS MedicineWise has information on its website about different pain conditions, pain medicines and non-medicine treatments for acute and chronic pain, and how to manage pain: www.nps.org.au/pain.

People can also call Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for information about their medicines from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local phone call (excluding mobiles; Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm EST).

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Stolen Island: Searching for ‘Ata by Scott Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news