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Different medicines for different types of pain
Pain can be short-term, experienced when a part of the body is damaged and while it is healing. This kind of pain usually goes away within 3 months or less, as the damage heals. Many medicines for short-term pain are available ‘over-the-counter’ from the chemist, pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription.
Long term, or chronic pain
Pain that lasts for longer than 3 months is long-term, persistent, or ‘chronic’ pain. Using medicines for short-term pain over a longer period can be dangerous. Long-term pain often has different causes from short-term pain, and needs different treatment. If pain persists, it is important to see your doctor, who can help you with treatment that may involve different medicines as well as approaches that don’t use medicine.
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