Patient Information

Pain management leaflets

Surgical Admissions Unit (SAU)
Ipswich Hospital
Tel: 01473 702 608


Pain Relief


It is important that you try to keep on top of any pain you feel after you leave hospital. Using pain relief can help you to relax and be more comfortable; this in turn can help you to recover more quickly.

Pain relief medication is most effective when taken regularly throughout the day, rather than waiting for the pain to start or to get really bad.

Pain relief medication is also most effective when different types are combined, as they work in different ways that complement each other.

The following pain relief medications are available without prescription and are effective when taken regularly and at the same time. We do not normally dispense or prescribe them as they are widely available over the counter in many shops:

  • paracetamol 500mg tablets (take two tablets, four times per day)
  • ibuprofen 400mg tablets (take one tablet, three times per day with meals).

We sometimes prescribe a third pain relief medication, such as codeine, tramadol or morphine. These can also be taken in addition to paracetamol and ibuprofen.

As with all medication, please read the information in the package so that you are aware of any side effects or how they may affect other medicines or conditions.

You should:

  • follow the suggested dosage
  • remember to take your pain relief medication regularly and in combination, as described previously.

You should not:

  • take ibuprofen if you have had stomach ulcers in the past or if you have indigestion
  • take ibuprofen if you are allergic to aspirin
  • take ibuprofen if you suffer from asthma and your symptoms (wheezing or breathlessness) get worse
  • take paracetamol if you have been prescribed co-codamol, as this contains paracetamol already. When taking paracetamol, do not take any other medication that contains paracetamol – some cold and flu remedies contain paracetamol – please check all labels carefully
  • drive a car or operate heavy machinery if you have been given or prescribed any codeine, tramadol or morphine medication.


© East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, 2021.
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced in whole, or in part,
without the permission of the copyright owner.



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