12:18am Tuesday 17 September 2019

RCGP response to The Lancet study on common painkillers

Without underestimating the risks, the results should be viewed as a timely reminder of the dangers of taking high doses of medication over very long periods of time.

“Pain blights the daily lives of millions of people and treatments such as ibuprofen can vastly improve the quality of their lives, if used properly. We welcome this study as an opportunity to raise awareness about appropriate usage of painkillers, especially if they are bought over the counter or taken without proper medical advice.

“For those patients whose pain management is overseen by their GP, it also provides additional information that can be used to more accurately predict individual levels of risk weighed against the benefits.

“All medications have risks and this study allows us to have an open discussion with patients. Patients should not suddenly stop taking the medications or make urgent appointments with their GP in light of this study but if patients wish to discuss their medication then they should make a routine appointment.”

Further Information

A summary of the full report in The Lancet can be viewed here

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 46,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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