NSAIDs: Talking to patients

Last updated: October 08, 2018

Sometimes it's not easy to communicate risk. However, when prescribing NSAIDs it's appropriate to tell patients that they are not like paracetamol: NSAIDs can have a range of significant side effects at normal doses. It may be helpful to stress that a gastrointestinal bleed is not common, but it is a serious harm that needs to be avoided.

There are quite a few pain management options when caring for someone who might need an NSAID – as discussed on the previous pages – and it's not necessarily easy to remember them all at the point of prescribing.

We've provided a short patient consultation leaflet that you may like to use when talking to a patient about managing their pain. It may serve to remind you what options are available. It also explains to the patient that there are GI risks, as well as identifying other potential analgesic options if your initial management strategy is not effective. Our patient leaflet uses a large font size, and in practice you will often tick more than one of the available options for each patient.

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