Finding the ‘sweet spot’ for your pain management

Published March 6, 2018

In 2017 the Therapeutic Goods of Australia (TGA) announced a series of restrictions to the sale of over-the-counter pain relief. The result of these amendments mean many stronger combination pain relieving medication can no longer be purchased from your local pharmacy, without seeing a Doctor and getting a prescription.

The changes have been implemented by the TGA to safe-guard everyday Australians against the potential adverse effects of strong pain medication. While this move by the TGA was a necessary one, having your choice seemingly taken away is undesirable. It may well have taken years to identify what works best for you, making these changes frustrating.

It is important to understand the range of pain relief options currently available to you, as your needs may have changed over time. These may or may not require a prescription, but your health care professional will be able to assist you in navigating the options.

While you might be reluctant switching from the medication you are accustomed to, remember that there can be more than one solution for everyone. Below we’ve outlined some top tips to help you effectively manage your pain.

1. Visit your doctor
These changes are an opportunity to revisit your GP and review your health and pain needs. This may lead to a prescription with very little change to your routine or it could lead to alternative forms of treatment. Either way, a trip to your doctor is a good starting point to
re-evaluate your pain management options.

2. Consider combination pain relievers
Combination pain relievers that combine paracetamol and ibuprofen in one tablet could be worth asking about at your local pharmacy. Because ibuprofen and paracetamol belong to different groups of pain relievers, they work it different ways to help relieve your pain1. Mersynofen was developed specifically to provide short term pain relief to pharmacy customers.

3. Cold and heat packs
Cold pack or hot pack? Both can be used to relieve pain however it’s important you are using the correct method for the type of pain you are experiencing. A cold pack is best for new injuries in order to reduce swelling and inflammation whilst also working as a numbing agent to reduce the pain3. A heat pack, on the other hand, is best used to soothe and relax on-going muscular pain4.

4. The benefits of topical solutions for pain
Most people associate pain relief with swallowing a pill but topical solutions such as gels and creams can be more beneficial for certain types of pain5. Its ability to be applied directly to the area of pain, incorporate cooling or heating agents, and reduce inflammation could treat the pain you are experiencing. Speak to your pharmacist about the best topical pain relief for you.

5. Get personalised advice
The pain you experience can be dealt with in many different ways and while advice that is general in nature is a great starting point, it cannot replace personalised advice. Speak to your health care professional, such as your pharmacist, about the pain you are experiencing and what treatment methods will help. A personalised pain management plan can help you re-gain control and put the pain back in its place.

With alternatives such as Mersynofen on the market, it is an opportunity for those affected by pain to take back control and ensure no further compromise needs to be taken.

Mersynofen is available in pharmacies only.

Combining the strength of 500mg paracetamol and 200mg Ibuprofen in a single tablet, one Mersynofen delivers stronger pain relief than two tablets of Paracetamol6. This non-drowsy formula offers up to 8 hours pain relief of short term acute pain and/or inflammation associated with migraine headache, tension headache, backache, sore throat, rheumatic pain, dental pain, muscular pain, arthritis, sinus pain, period pain, tennis elbow, toothache, aches and pain associated with colds. Adults under 65 and children from 12 years: 1 tablet every 8 hours as required (max. 3 tablets in 24 hours)

For more information about Mersynofen, speak with your local pharmacist or call 1800 818 806.

  1. Ong CKS, Seymour RA, Lirk P, et al.Combining paracetamol (acetaminophen) with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs: a qualitative systematic review of analgesic efficacy for acute postoperative pain. Anesth Analg. 2010;110:1170-9.
  2. 2017 Product of the Year Awards. The largest independent consumer survey in Australia with over 13,000 household shoppers surveyed by Nielsen to determine the winners
    Kuo CC, Lin CC, Lee WJ, Huang WT: Comparing the antiswelling and analgesic effects of three different ice pack therapy durations: a randomized controlled trial on cases with soft tissue injuries. J Nurs Res. 2013 Sep;21(3):186-94. doi: 10.1097/jnr.0b013e3182a0af12.
  3. Scott F. Nadler, DO, FACSM, Kurt Weingand, PhD, DVM, and Roger J. Kruse, MD: The Physiologic Basis and Clinical Applications of Cryotherapy and Thermotherapy for the Pain Practitioner. Pain Physician. 2004;7:395-399, ISSN 1533-3159.
  4. Moore R A, Tramèr M R, Carroll D, Wiffen P J, McQuay H J. Quantitive systematic review of topically applied non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs BMJ 1998; 316 :333
  5. Daniels SE GM, Aspley, S Reader S. A randomised, five-parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial comparing the efficacy and tolerability of analgesic combinations including a novel single-tablet combination of ibuprofen/paracetamol for postoperative dental pain. Pain. 2011;152:632-42

Learn whether Mersynofen may be appropriate for you.