10 minute clinic: pain relief

OTC Category Reviews

10 minute clinic: pain relief

In OTC Category Reviews

This handy 10-minute clinic is designed to act as a quick reference guide that will help you when advising customers in different category areas. The flowchart leads you through the decision-making process to help you respond to customer queries. This month, we look at the advice you can offer and the products you can recommend to customers suffering from different types of pain

At a glance

*Unless aged over two months, weighs over 4kg and is not premature for post-immunisation fever, in which case, recommend a suitable product. 
**Aspirin is suitable for those aged 16 years or over; naproxen for those between 15 and 50 years of age; combination analgesics for those over 18 years of age.

Whenever you talk to any customer, remember WWHAM:

Who is it for?

Remember, it might not be the customer who needs the treatment. Products containing aspirin, naproxen or codeine can only be recommended to certain age groups. 

What are the symptoms?

Ask the customer to describe the type of pain they have and point out where it is hurting. The painkiller recommended may depend on the type of pain (e.g. an NSAID if there is inflammation). 

How long have the symptoms been present? 

This will help to establish whether the pain is acute or chronic. 

Action already taken?

This will help to establish what they have already tried so that you can recommend a different active ingredient or format, if appropriate. 

Medication?

Refer customers to the pharmacist if they are taking any other medication or have a medical condition.

You don’t have to ask these questions in order, and a customer might give you some of this information without you asking. As long as you get them into the conversation, you should be able to find out the information you need in order to make a recommendation. The golden rule to remember is: if in doubt, refer to the pharmacist. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for their advice.

 When to refer to the pharmacist

•  Any customer who requests an NSAID and has or has had a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a stroke, heart, liver, kidney, bowel or stomach problems, or is a smoker 
  If there is persistent pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter painkillers 
  Anyone buying large quantities of analgesics on a regular basis 
  Pregnant or breastfeeding women 
  Anyone under the age of 18 who requests combination painkillers 
•  Any customer taking other medicines. 

Self care tips

  • Locate the source of the pain and treat any underlying problems 
  • Muscle and joint pain can be relieved by rubbing or applying a hot or cold compress 
  • A hot bath or compress may ease backache and period pain 
  • Everyday activities such as walking and swimming can help to ease pain if they are introduced gradually 
  • During intense pain, deep breathing can help to relax muscle tension and ease any anxiety 
  • Sleep deprivation can worsen pain, so keep to a regular sleep routine. 

Record my learning outcomes

OTC Category Reviews

Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing

Share:

More like this

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

Pain relief from top to toe

Pain can pop up anywhere, often without warning. But it's not just OTC analgesics that can make a difference.

6 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

Only lonely on the inside

Loneliness in older age is often a reality but is by no means absolute and pharmacy teams can offer support.

5 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

The obesity agenda

The Welsh Government has published a new strategy to help people manage their weight and pharmacy teams can help.

4 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

Cough, cold and the flu vaccine

The seasonal flu immunisation programme is always important, but never more so than now in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

5 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

Supporting smoking cessation

With smoking rates continuing to decline, the outlook is positive, but there's still work to be done to protect the nation's health.

4 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
OTC Category Reviews

Taboos? So last year

It's time to start talking about all aspects of women's health and pharmacy teams can help with information, support and signposting.

5 Min Article

Recommended Learning

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Abdominal discomfort: Multi-symptom relief with Buscomint

Discover the key benefits of a product that offers multi-symptom relief from abdominal pain, cramps and bloating, plus lifestyle advice to help manage symptoms.

5 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Understanding constipation treatments

Discover the key benefits of different types of laxatives, and the right questions to ask customers to ensure you know which to recommend

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

This module will help the pharmacy team to understand erectile dysfunction and its causes, and supply Viagra Connect to male customers affected by it, where appropriate

10 Min Module

Sponsored education

Supporting women in their contraceptive choices

Upgrade your contraceptive consultations by exploring the interactive pack to learn about a daily oral contraceptive pill

8 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Oral rehydration: a pharmacy guide

Understand the important role oral rehydration products play in helping prevent dehydration after illness

5 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Biological medicines and biosimilars

This module explores biological and biosimilar medicines, and will increase your understanding of the guidelines surrounding the brand prescribing of these drugs and your role in their supply

10 Min Module