Combination Pain Relievers

Combination Pain Relievers

Combination pain relievers refer to pain medications that have more than one active ingredient within the medication. Generally most pain relief medication only has one active ingredient that is focused on eliminating the pain. For instance one common active ingredient in pain relief medication is paracetamol, however this ingredient can be combined with caffeine or promethazine or codeine to form a different pain relief medication.

In some cases combination of pain relievers are used to control or eliminate pain. Combinations of aspirin are then combined with caffeine or a sedative drug to result in relief of pain from tension headaches. When looking at effective pain reliever, it has been seen that combination of drugs are more effective when compared to medication with only one active ingredient.


There are many over-the-counter medications and some that can be prescribed by doctors that are classified as 'combination pain relief.' Some of the relativity common ones include Panadol Extra, Nurofen Plus, Panafen Plus, Prodeine, Aspalgin, Disprin Forte and more. Panadol Extra contains two active ingredients which include paracetamol and caffeine. This medication is used to help relieve short-term pain and may be more effective when compared to paracetamol taken by itself. This medication is supposed to treat the same symptoms or conditions as the normal Panadol however, it is more effective as it has a second active ingredient, and therefore can be stronger and more beneficial in fighting the pain.

Paracetamol safety
Paracetamol is a well-known analgesic and is thought to be generally safe and cost effective. It is a very useful analgesic (alone or in combination) and also is an antipyretic, fever reducing substance. It is normally found as a 500 mg tablet, but it is often combined with other active ingredients in various preparations.
In addition, there are deaths resulting from paracetamol compounds. It is the most common cause of acute liver failure. It is important to remember that, when used at therapeutic levels, paracetamol is usually safe and effective. However, taking 4 g per day (or slightly more) for a few days, has been known to result in hepatotoxicity.
Paracetamol overdose may occur intentionally and accidentally - the latter due to the high number of combination products available over-the-counter, studies have shown.
The maximum daily dosage should be eight 500mg tablets a day - equivalent of 4gm.

Stronger pain relief

Combination pain medicines contain more than one active ingredient. Examples include Nurofen Plus, which is a combination of ibuprofen and codeine; Aspalgin, which is a combination of aspirin and codeine; or Codalgin that is a combination of paracetamol and codeine. Some drugs, such as Panalgesic, contain paracetamol, codeine and doxylamine (a calmative) which are effective in severe pain, migraine, and pains associated with spasms. These combination drugs are effective against moderate to severe pain. These will be either pharmacy only medicines or prescription only medicines.


The Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA) is a health promotion charity providing advocacy, information and practical support for people living with chronic (persistent) pain and their families. APMA is the consumer health organisation for all Australians who live with pain. APMA is your voice.


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Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA)Victory Offices
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