Deadly Pain Pills Available Over The Counter

Pain relief pills with codeine are too addictive and harmful to be available over the counter, new research has revealed.

There have been 115 victorian deaths in the past decade linked to the misuse of common drugs that combine codeine and ibuprofen, such as Nurofen Plus and Panafen Plus.

Monash University researchers have recommended that drugs combining codeine and other pain killers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, be restricted to prescription-only following reports of misuse and fatalities.

Dr Jennifer Pilgrim from the Monash University Department of Medicine said because the drugs were available over the counter they were viewed as harmless, but the combination of codeine and ibuprofen was highly addictive and harmful in large doses.

“We know that some people with an addiction to codeine in these formulations are taking up to 40 tablets a day. Cases of up to 100 tablets a day have been reported.”

“It is highly worrying that people are able to source such large amounts of this medication without a prescription.”


From Pain Pills to Emergency Room

Long term abuse of Ibuprofen is the ingestion of any more than 600mg daily. 

The most common side effect of long term use is gastrointestinal (GI) effects including bleeding, gastric ulceration and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can cause death. 

GI bleeding can be observed as early as three days after starting an ibuprofen regimen, a retrospective analysis published in American Journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has found.

These symptoms are usually felt with pain but often they can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. 

Ibuprofen abuse also damages your internal organs like the liver and kidneys.

While occasionally it can result in permanent liver damage, and in chronic cases where high doses are taken long term, it can result in organ failure one by one.

The risks of codeine are highlighted in the article Is Codeine Use Amplifying Your Pain?


Emeds Comment

Pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast becoming default bodily states in the industrialised world.

While in most cases we can adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions by altering our diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures, these approaches take time, discipline and energy, and sometimes we just want the pain to stop now.

In those often compulsive moments the easiest thing to do is pop an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain.

The problem with this approach is that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves along with the pain.

So, what does one do? Pain is pain. Whether it happens to you, or you witness it in another (which can be worse), finding relief is a top priority.

The real answer to controlling inflammation and preventing disease lies in nutrition and smart supplementation. Certain foods, nutrients and natural medicines have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Simple lifestyle changes will go a long way toward reducing chronic inflammation in the body. Focusing on these changes may just help you avoid disease and autoimmune dysfunction in the future:


Healthy Diet

Avoid pro-inflammatory foods like the plague. Foods like trans fats, fried foods (think any fast-food), sugar, grains, foods cooked at high temperatures and cholesterol-filled foods should be avoided at all costs.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found mostly in vegies, as well as their oils. In moderation, and in the correct omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is fine, however with our westernised diets, our ratio is more like 30:1.

Omega-6 fatty acids, when eaten in abundance, are converted to saturated fats, which primarily have a pro-inflammatory effect – hence reducing fatty, fried foods.



Base your diet on fresh vegies, fruit, lean meat, fish and limited dairy. Cut the bread, grains and processed foods out.

Anything that comes wrapped in foil, in a box, or that doesn't resemble its' original form should be eliminated.


Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. The typical diet lacks in essential fatty acids.

Additional benefits of omega-3's include increasing the body's ability to burn fat, reducing cholesterol and triglycerides, enhancing immunity, lowering blood pressure and improving metabolism. EPA from fish oil is particularly prominent in the reduction of inflammation.

Eat plenty of cold water fish, legumes, green vegies and nuts. You will need to supplement as well with a good quality, high-potency fish oil like Bioceuticals Ultra-Clean EPA/DHA Plus.

Daily use will help to radically reduce inflammation and modulate inflammatory response. Click here for Emeds Best Fish Oils.  


Quit Smoking

Smoking hardens your arteries and increases inflammation. Research has shown though that it's never too late to quit.

Take the first step towards better health by reading Emeds Guide to Quitting


Use a Natural Anti-Inflammatory 

If you are in the risk group for chronic inflammation (see cause and effect), or have been diagnosed with an inflammatory condition, you need to take a specialised natural anti-inflammatory.

We have a wide range of natural anti inflammatories available. These formula will reduce the inflammatory response, exuding calming effects throughout the tissues of the body and reducing mediating causes. Click here for Emed's Best Anti-Inflammatories.


Further Reading: