Back pain? Toothache? Cramps? Here are your six best painkillers
'For a low-level headache, ordinary ibuprofen is the perfect painkiller,' says Angela. 'But because these are in liquid form, they're more readily absorbed into the body, reaching your pain receptors more quickly.
Good news if you get debilitating cramps during your period. These contain naproxren, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that blocks the production of prostaglandins, the hormones that cause period pain.
For localised pain, try a rub-on gel. Ibuleve is absorbed quickly through the skin but, warns Angela Chalmers, consultant pharmacist at Boots, 'You need to work it into the muscle for ten minutes.' For strong pain that covers a larger area, ask your pharmacist for painkillers with antiinflammatory diclofenac.
For an ache, ibuprofen is fine, but if you’re in severe pain, you’ll want something stronger until you can seethe dentist. Panadol Ultra contains codeine – a mild opioid from the same family as morphine, and probably the strongest non-prescription analgesic.
If you can't face food or have been vomiting, stay away from stomach-irritating ibuprofen or multi-ingredient painkillers. Instead, go for an ownbrand paracetamol. Combine with rehydration sachets to get your fluid and electrolyte levels back up to normal.
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