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Analgesics

analgesics, pain-killers, painkillers, OTC, NSAIDs

Analgesics, also known as pain-killers, are medications designed to relieve the symptoms of pain.

In Australia the supply of pain-killers/analgesics is regulated according to the type and quantity of the active ingredients, recommended dosage and quantity in the package.

Unidentified pills in packaging spread across a blue surface

'Over the counter' refers to all medications that do not require a prescription. This includes medications that are available to purchase off the shelf in supermarkets and pharmacies, such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen, and medications provided under pharmacist supervision, such as ibuprofen and codeine combination product medications.

Other pain-killers/analgesics are only available by prescription; these include codeine and paracetamol combination products, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and pethidine.

A person might obtain prescription pain-killers/analgesics for non-medical use by 'doctor shopping' and obtaining prescriptions from multiple prescribers, using medications prescribed to another, or obtaining medication with a forged script or on the black market.