As part of a weekly series, in association with LloydsPharmacy, Colin Dougall from LloydsPharmacy in Glasgow answers your common medicine queries…
Q: Is ibuprofen or paracetamol better for period pain?
Both types of painkiller can help with period pain, but ibuprofen is probably better because of the way it works.
It’s a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which inhibits pain by reducing the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, easing inflammation and pain.
Some studies have shown that women with higher prostaglandin levels have worse period pain.
However, ibuprofen needs to be taken with food because prostaglandins also protect the stomach lining so NSAIDs may irritate the stomach.
Ibuprofen should be used with caution by people with asthma as it can occasionally cause an asthma attack. Paracetamol is a better option for them.
Both types of painkiller can help with period pain, but ibuprofen is probably better because of the way it works
Depending on the pain levels, you can take ibuprofen in 200mg or 400mg tablets up to three times a day.
Q: Will taking ibuprofen before bed help ward off a hangover?
A headache in hangovers is generally caused by dehydration, because alcohol is a diuretic and also dilates blood vessels in the brain. So to prevent a headache in the morning, a better option is drinking a pint or two of water to rehydrate yourself before you go to sleep.
It’s also worth pointing out that if a headache does develop with a handover, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach. So if the stomach is already irritated by alcohol, it may not be the best option.
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