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What Painkillers Can You Take If You Have Asthma

What Strong Painkillers Can I Take

I have Asthma, can I take Painkillers?-Dr.Preeti Doshi

I was going to phone the asthma nurse – but the helpline isn’t open until tomorrow.

I have fairly mild asthma, mostly well controlled. I’ve developed a cold overnight and my peak flow is down today. I’m not coughing which is my usual symptom but my chest feels a little tight. I’m using Salbutamol regularly to try and ward off an attack, can’t double up on the preventer as I already take the max dose.

There is an added complication – I’ve recently had major abdominal surgery. I’ve been taking Diclofenac as the main painkiller since I left hospital just over 2 weeks ago. I know that if I am having an asthma symptoms I have to stop taking it as it can make the asthma worse, but I’m still in pain and I don’t think I can manage with just paracetamol yet. If I get to the point where I am coughing it is going to hurt even more.

I have some cocodamol which I could take instead of normal paracetamol. Is there anything else I can take?


Hi Jinglfairy

I’m worried about continuing it now that I do have symptoms in case I make the asthma worse.

Guess I’ll have to see how I get on today and call the out of hours number if needed.

Thanks for your help.

However, I’m no kind of expert so I’d agree that you should go back to a different GP for advice – but first I’d go with your original idea of ringing the helpline as they may have more ideas which you can take to the GP and more knowledge about painkillers with asthma.

Hi Philomela,

Thank you

Hi there,

Rose xx

What Are My Other Pain Relief Options If I Have Asthma

If you have asthma, discuss your pain relief options with your doctor. Your doctor may suggest options for pain relief that are suitable for you.

This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.


How And When To Take Naproxen

Always take your naproxen tablets with or just after a meal so you do not get an upset stomach.

As a general rule in adults, the dose to treat:

  • diseases of joints is 500mg to 1,000mg a day in 1 or 2 doses
  • muscle, bone disorders and painful periods is 500mg at first, then 250mg every 6 to 8 hours as required
  • attacks of gout is 750mg, then 250mg every 8 hours until the attack has passed

Doses are usually lower for elderly people and people with heart, liver or kidney problems.

The doctor will use your child’s weight to work out the right dose.

If you get naproxen on prescription, the dose depends on the reason why you’re taking it, your age, how well your liver and kidneys work, and how well it helps your symptoms.

If you buy naproxen from a pharmacy for painful menstrual periods:

  • on the first day take 2 tablets when the pain starts, then after 6 to 8 hours take 1 more tablet that day if you need to
  • on the second and following days take 1 tablet every 6 to 8 hours if needed

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What Can I Do To Avoid Problems

Be aware of the medications that can cause potentially serious attacks.;

These include aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used in pain relief products, as well as some natural health tonics such as royal jelly.;

You should check that any products taken for the relief of symptoms do not contain aspirin or ibuprofen.;

If a reaction or worsening asthma symptoms are experienced following the use of any medicines or product, report the adverse reaction to your doctor.

Who Can And Cannot Take Naproxen


Most adults can be prescribed naproxen.

It can also be prescribed to children to treat:

  • muscle and bone disorders for babies from 1 month
  • diseases of the joints for children from 2 years
  • period pain for children under 15

Adults and teenagers aged 15 and over can buy it from a pharmacy for period pain.

Naproxen is not suitable for certain people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to naproxen or any other medicines in the past
  • have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines , such as ibuprofen
  • have or have had stomach ulcers, bleeding in the stomach or intestines, or a hole in your stomach
  • have a blood clotting disorder
  • are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding

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Getting The Most From Your Treatment

  • Your doctor will try to prescribe you the lowest dose for the shortest time to reduce the risk of side-effects. If you need to take etoricoxib for a long time, your doctor may also want to prescribe another medicine for you to take along with etoricoxib to protect your stomach from irritation.
  • Try to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be checked. Your doctor will want to check your blood pressure from time to time while you are taking etoricoxib.
  • If you have asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness can be made worse by anti-inflammatories such as etoricoxib. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the tablets and see your doctor as soon as possible.
  • There is known to be a small increased risk of heart and blood vessel problems in people taking anti-inflammatory painkillers like etoricoxib. Your doctor will explain this to you and will prescribe the lowest suitable dose for the shortest time in order to reduce the risk. Do not take more than the recommended dose for your condition.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. This is because you should not take etoricoxib with any other anti-inflammatory painkiller, some of which are available in cold and flu remedies which can be bought ‘over the counter’.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Common Questions About Naproxen

Naproxen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug . It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Paracetamol is usually the best treatment for most types of pain, but naproxen is better for some types, such as period pain or back pain.

You should start to feel better 1 hour after taking naproxen.

But it might take up to 3 days for naproxen to work properly if you take it regularly twice a day.

Depending on why you’re taking naproxen, you may only need to take it for a short time.

For example, if you have a sore back or period pain, you may only need to take naproxen for 1 or 2 days.

You may need to take it for longer if you have a long-term condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

If you need to take naproxen for a long time, your doctor may prescribe a medicine to protect your stomach from side effects.

It’s best to take the lowest dose of naproxen for the shortest time to control your symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure how long you need to take naproxen for.

Naproxen can cause an ulcer in your stomach or gut if you take it for a long time or in big doses.

There’s also a small risk that people taking very big doses for a long time may get heart failure or kidney failure.

It’s best to take the lowest dose that works for the shortest possible time.

If you need to take naproxen very often or you’re taking a big dose, talk to your doctor about your pain.

Naproxen does not work for some types of pain, such as nerve pain.

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What To Make Of All This

Certainly, this latest study is reassuring to parents and physicians. As with all medicines, the potential risks should always be weighed against any potential benefits. However, I think the general consensus of the medical community is that both acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe and wont exacerbate or cause new-onset asthma. Despite this, most researchers continue to claim that more research is needed in this area.4

Asthma Rates Skyrocket And Tylenol Was Blamed For It

What is Asthma? (HealthSketch)

About 15 years later, the results of a study showed that asthma rates increased 75% among all populations between 1980 and 1994. Even more stunning, asthma rates in children increased a whopping 160% during the same time frame. This resulted in a variety of theories to explain the spike in asthma rates, and among them was that Tylenol was the culprit.1

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Table : Compound Painkillers

Where do I get them? Over the counter or on prescription. On prescription.
Constipation, feeling sick, drowsiness and feeling dizzy. Long-term use of paracetamol can cause problems with the kidneys, heart and lungs. Constipation, feeling sick, drowsiness, feeling dizzy, heartburn and indigestion. Constipation, feeling sick, drowsiness and feeling dizzy.Long-term use of paracetamol can cause problems with the kidneys, heart and lungs.
What else should I know? For more severe pain, a range of doses is available. ; For more severe pain, a range of doses is available.

Taking Naproxen With Other Painkillers

Do not take naproxen with ibuprofen or other NSAIDs.

It’s OK to take naproxen with paracetamol or co-codamol that you buy over the counter, but this should just be for short periods of time.

If you often need to take extra painkillers with naproxen or for more than a few days, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Sometimes taking different painkillers together is a good way to relieve pain, but there may be other treatments you can try.

It’s OK to take other painkillers with naproxen for longer if your doctor has given them to you on prescription and told you to take them together.

If you’re unsure, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

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Risks And Side Effects Of Opioid Painkillers

Opioid painkillers can cause more side effects than simple painkillers. They are only available on prescription and need to be monitored by your doctor.

In many cases, theyre only used for short periods of time when extra pain relief is needed. This is to reduce the risk of you becoming addicted to them and other side effects.

Side effects of opioid painkillers include:

  • feeling sick
  • drowsiness and dizziness, which increases when drinking alcohol
  • not being able to concentrate
  • breathing problems – let your doctor know if you have long-term breathing problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

If you are using antidepressants or antipsychotics, be careful of taking tapentadol. This is because your risk of seizures may be higher if you are being prescribed these drugs at the same time.

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor.

The Finger Also Pointed At Ibuprofen

Is it bad to use an inhaler when you don t have asthma ...

And, ultimately, since ibuprofen use also increased during this time, theories were postulated, and studies seemed to confirm, that it was also guilty of causing new-onset asthma and of causing asthma attacks. Study after study continued to confirm suspicions that common pain relievers were guilty.3,4

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Medications To Avoid If You Have Asthma

It comes on so fast you feel helpless. You reach over to take a sip of water and pause as you feel your chest begin to tighten. You feel like you cant breathe, and the air is getting squeezed right out of you. Youre experiencing an asthma attack.

Asthma can be triggered by several different factors, including allergens, viruses, environmental factors and drugs. If you have asthma, its important that youre aware of the medications that can trigger an attack. If you think youve been prescribed a medication that has caused your asthma to worsen, discuss it with your doctor.

New Evidence Seems To Vindicate Pain Relievers

Apparently, this continued research paid off, or so it looks at the present time. There appears to have been a bias that impacted all of the previous studies, one which seemingly overlooked why parents were giving pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to children. A study published in 2013 showed that children given pain relievers in the first year of life had an elevated risk for developing asthma. However, when respiratory infections were accounted for, the elevated risk was negligible.

This study seems to show that the previous studies failed to account for the fact that respiratory infections are a common cause of new-onset asthma. So it would appear, based on this one study, that it wasnt the pain relievers that were to blame for new-onset asthma but these respiratory infections.3,4,7

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How To Take Etoricoxib

  • Before you start taking etoricoxib, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the tablets, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking them.
  • Take etoricoxib once each day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. There are four strengths of tablet available – 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg and 120 mg. You will be prescribed the strength of tablet that suits your condition. People with osteoarthritis are usually prescribed 30 mg once-daily, although the dose can be increased to 60 mg if needed. People with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis are prescribed 60 mg once-daily, although the dose can be increased to 90 mg if it becomes necessary. If you are taking etoricoxib for gout, you will be prescribed a short course of 120 mg strength tablets to take once-daily for up to eight days.
  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take the tablet either with or without food, although the tablets may work more quickly if they are taken without food.
  • Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day as this will help you to remember to take them.
  • If you forget to take the tablet at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

Studies Seemed To Confirm That Tylenol Was Guilty

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw

Study after study showed a clear link between Tylenol and asthma. A study published in August of 2008 showed that, compared to those in the control group, children who were given Tylenol at least once a month was 50% more likely to experience asthma symptoms. Even those who were given Tylenol once a year had a 40% greater chance of developing asthma.2,3

Study after study like this seemed to confirm early suspicions that Tylenol was guilty. Other studies showed that Tylenol was also guilty of causing asthma attacks in those diagnosed with asthma. However, some studies showed no link between Tylenol and asthma. So, this kind of added to the confusion.

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If You Have Asthma High Blood Pressure Heart Failure Or Kidney Failure

In some people with asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness are made worse by anti-inflammatories. If your asthma does suddenly become worse you should stop the anti-inflammatory and seek medical help. Also, anti-inflammatories can sometimes make high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney failure worse. If you have any of these conditions, you may be more closely monitored if you are prescribed an anti-inflammatory.

Risk Of A Heart Attack Due To Painkiller Use

The team of researchers found that the risk of heart attack starts in the initial week itself of taking NSAIDs. Besides, the risk almost doubles up in the first month. As per Dr. Mohit Gupta, of Orlando Health Heart Institute Cardiology Group, The study kind of reinforces the previous findings that painkillers can increase the risk of heart attacks. What it adds to what we knew previously is that the risk starts in the very first week of taking painkillers, the risk is higher with higher doses, the risk is actually greatest during the first month of painkiller use, and that once you stop taking painkillers that risk actually goes down over a period of time.

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Can Aspirin Trigger And Asthma Attack

Aspirin may have many benefits but for people who have asthma, it can trigger an attack. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 10 20 % of people who live with asthma have a reaction to either aspirin or other pain killers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .; Examples of NSAIDS are Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve, and Naprosyn.The likelihood of having an asthmatic attack is increased if a person living with asthma has nasal polyps in addition to sensitivity to aspirin. This condition, known as Samters Triad increases the chances of having an asthmatic attack by 30 40 %. This is due to the fact that nasal polyps are an inflammatory condition in the nasal passages and anti-inflammatories can lead to respiratory complications. Many people with nasal symptoms such as runny nose, post nasal drip, and congestion may be prone to an asthma attack if they take aspirin or NSAIDS.If you suspect that you have asthma and are experiencing: shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, speak to your doctor about how aspirin can impact your condition. A doctor can recommend medications that are safer to take. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call 718-206-7001.


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