Are there any stud­ies on the best over-the-counter painkillers?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q&a -

Ex­pe­ri­ence of pain is highly sub­jec­tive so it is dif­fi­cult to say which are the best painkillers. Stud­ies tend to fo­cus on par­tic­u­lar aches and pains. For ex­am­ple, an anal­y­sis by The Lancet of thou­sands of tri­als sug­gested that parac­eta­mol doesn’t touch pain from os­teoarthri­tis but a max dose of a non-steroidal an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory (NSAID) called di­clofenac does the job. NSAIDs such as ibupro­fen re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and are best suited to mus­cu­lar pain re­lief. The drugs block en­zymes that pro­duce hor­mone-like chem­i­cals called prostaglandins, which pro­mote in­flam­ma­tion, pain and fever. Mean­while, parac­eta­mol is most suited to headaches and re­duc­ing a high tem­per­a­ture.

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