Medical Questions » Arthritis Questions » Question No. 83
Question:What can a pensioner use for chronic pain from arthritis? The government only gives pensioners simple things like Panamax and Aspirin on the free list, and they are not good enough.
Answer:Both paracetamol (Panamax) and aspirin are very effective and very safe painkillers. Often the reason they do not work is that not a large enough dose is taken. You should pursue this course initially. Up to eight paracetamol or aspirin tablets can be taken every day if necessary. Unfortunately, some patients with chronic pain conditions do require stronger medications, and these people may well find themselves disadvantaged, as the government does not subsidise the cost of all of the moderate strength analgesics. There are a number of drugs in this intermediate strength range (eg. Digesic, Prodeine), but some of them are quite expensive. The next step up the pain-killer ladder is a medication called Tramal, which helps moderate to severe pain. Beyond this comes Panadeine Forte, but this may cause drowsiness, constipation and addiction. Both of these medications are subsidised for pensioners.
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