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Painkillers and Asthma

Can anyone suggest painkillers that are 'safe' to use with asthma (either over the counter or that I could speak to my GP about)? I can't use NSAIDs as they seem to exacerbate my asthma (not immediately, but I definitely get more breathless and more of a cough about an hour after - and since my asthma has got worse I daren't try them again) and I seem to be limited to Paracetamol.

Paracetamol is fine for the occasional headache, but I find it isn't strong enough for other things - particularly severe period pain - or for when you need something that treats swelling (for instance I recently took a spectacular tumble (I'm dyspraxic and can fall over my own feet without even moving!!) and have a fantastically bruised elbow).

Any ideas? I'm not good with pain anyway and it does get me down (and even chocolate doesn't help!).

5 Replies

Hi Ratty

I can understand totaly where you are coming from, im alergic to anything codeiene based and obviously asprin so was also limited to paracetamol and found them next to useless for anything other than a mild headache.

I also had a tendon repair op 4 years ago and still suffer terrible pain in my elbow and my neck which was a result of having my arm in a sling for nearly 18 months, so went to my gp and she prescribed tramadol, it says I can have up to 8 a day but you must be an ox to take that many, I usually only take 1 either when I have a migraine (which is the first thing ever that I have found that works on this!) or towards the end of the day when the pain has got too much. If I take even 2 I can hardly stand up !

I know there has been a lot of people on the net who are addicted to these as they are quite strong but I dont think 1 a day will cause that and they are a life line to me and the first thing I have ever found in years that helps! it was certainly worth asking as I didnt think there was anything at all I could take!

Take care



low strength "" CoCodamol tablets (8/500) are available without prescription from pharmacies but Im not sure if they would be adequate-they are certainly,from my use of them,better that ordinary paracetamol.


Regarding OTC (Over-The-Counter) stuff, Bluejam is right - co-codamol 8/500 is about as strong as it gets. Anything stronger and you'll need a script. There are a number of non-NSAID painkillers, though, so don't despair - I'm sure they'll find something suitable for you.


Hi Ratty

I have a problem with NSAIDs, but find that Celebrex helps me with arthritis pain. It's only available on prescription, but you could ask your doctor if that would be an option for you.



Thanks everyone for your replies here and in PMs. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one having this problem. I seem to be lucky in that I have a fantastic GP and have a very good relationship with her, so I'll talk through some options when I see her next week and see what will be best.


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