Over-the-counter painkillers

Updated 03 April 2018

Three types of painkillers are available over the counter:


  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetylsalicylsyre (combination product)

All three types are used to relieve mild pain and reduce fever, but their side effects are different and what you should pay attention to is not the same. Painkillers sold over the counter come in one pack size suitable for the treatment of short-term pain and/or fever.  Basically, the risk of side effects is lower when painkillers are used at the smallest effective dose and for the shortest possible time. If you experience prolonged pain or have been ill for a long time, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.   

Always read the medicine's package leaflet before you start taking the medicine. It gives you information about how to take the medicine, what side effects it can have, and it tells you if there is something in particular you should pay attention to. If you are unsure about something, please consult your doctor or a pharmacy before taking the medicine.

You can read more about the different types of over-the-counter painkillers on the website of the Danish Health Authority: Over-the-counter painkillers (in Danish only)

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