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Your pharmacist should be your first port of call if you are in pain

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Sinéad Ryan MPSI

Limerick-based, Community Pharmacist

The importance of pharmacists working with patients, doctors and hospital pain teams to ensure the most suitable pain care treatment pathway.


Pharmacists have a central role in counselling and educating patients in pain management. When pain killers are taken correctly, they can provide a useful option for responsibly managing pain. Pharmacists are experts in medicines and one of the first ports of call should be your local pharmacy if you are experiencing pain.

The ‘Pain Ladder’ recommends that patients always begin with the lowest form of appropriate pain-relief for the shortest amount of time for their symptoms in order to reduce the incidence of side effects and dependence, for example a simple paracetamol in the first instance.

Pharmacists can advise on pain relief medication

Pharmacists can provide advice on the strength and type of painkiller that is best for you depending on the type of pain you are experiencing.

Pharmacists can provide advice on your condition, the directions for use, the recommended dose, the precautions for use, if it is suitable with your current medicines and when the product should not be taken for both over the counter and prescription medicines.

Your pharmacist can help if you are not experiencing any relief from your symptoms after a number of days. Or, if you are experiencing side effects from taking painkillers you can revisit your pharmacist who will recommend a suitable alternative or refer you to the doctor.

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