Is paracetamol safe to take on a regular basis for chronic pain?

After reading an article about a man who died through taking too many paracetamol tablets, it made me really think about the number of drugs I am currently taking. Apparently, he suffered from bad sciatica and was warned he was using too much paracetamol but as he thought the ones prescribed by his GP were too strong, he just carried on taking the paracetamol.

His brother said that he would have a drink every night with two paracetamol and then take another two later. The post-mortem examination found a high level of paracetamol in the man’s blood and damage to his liver. The cause of death was liver failure due to paracetamol overdose.

Of course with paracetamol readily available from a number of shops, I’m sure a lot of people do not realise just how many they are allowed to take.

I am on the full dosage of opiates and an extra 50mg which my pain consultant has let me take to help me sleep without pain. I also take two different types of muscle relaxants and also take paracetamol.

My GP does do the odd blood test to keep an eye on my liver as it does fluctuate a bit. But, I must admit this article has made me rethink my drug taking as I wonder how my liver will be in say ‘ten years time’.

The NHS site says “Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death,” the Mail Online reports.

A new review of previous observational studies found that long-term use of paracetamol was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events such as heart attacks, gastrointestinal bleeds (bleeding inside the digestive system) and impaired kidney function.

They point out that ‘it is important to be aware that, as these are observational studies, there is the potential for various sources of bias’ but they finish with ‘the findings that paracetamol could potentially have adverse longer-term effects, particularly when used at higher doses, is important, especially as the drug is used by millions. Therefore, further investigation is needed.’





Buying a health subscription for someone who is suffering can be a lovely Christmas gift. It was my friends birthday recently and she has just been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia so I bought her the Fibromyalgia Magazine as a gift, she was thrilled and thanked me for thinking of her. The best thing is that not only can someone benefit from the magazine but also the charity benefits from you buying the subscription so it’s a win-win situation 🙂

My top five health magazine subscriptions, which make great Christmas gifts are :

BackCare have a magazine called Talkback which you can buy as a subscription or you can join BackCare for an annual membership and you will be sent the magazine which comes out every four months plus 12 monthly E-Newsletters.

Talkback is a full-colour glossy magazine produced quarterly which includes the following editorial content:

  • Back product testing and the latest gadgets
  • Health and Excercise
  • Exercises and tips on preventing back pain
  • Patient centred approaches to treatment
  • Research News
  • BackCare Professionals Section
  • Readers Letters
  • Interview with Back Pain Celebrities

The Fibromyalgia Magazine deals with the areas that matter to our readers:

  • Medical Research News
  • Campaigning
  • Lobbying
  • Awareness Raising
  • Legal Advice
  • Benefits Advice
  • Worldwide news
  • News from local support groups and charities
  • Treatment Advice
  • Pharmaceutical News
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Pain Management
  • On line directory of all support groups and phone friends
  • A nationwide directory of FM resources
  • Opinion and Entertainment from our unrivalled team of columnists


Arthritis Inspire Magazine –  Inspire magazine is a quarterly members magazine for members packed with features, news, tips and information. Another Arthritis Uk Magazine is Arthritis Digest

Arthritis Digest magazine is published six times a year and summarises the latest research in the arthritis arena making it essential reading for anyone affected by the painful condition.

Informative, upbeat and packed full of news and reviews about drugs, pain relief, superfoods, products and services, each issue has a star celebrity interview and true stories.

Arthritis Digest magazine informs readers and encourages them to learn, try new ideas and explore their options.

The ME Association produce a quarterly magazine, ME Essential, required reading for any ME sufferer. Members of the ME Association receive a quarterly magazine – ME Essential – delivered

straight to their door. It features exclusive interviews, keeps them up-to-date with medical and scientific developments and includes stories about how people cope with the disease.

Finally, a magazine with lots on health is the Well Being Magazine – it has articles, reviews, health and fitness, beauty, travel, food and drink.



Barbara McLullich

Isn’’t it strange, how nature makes your forget,
That terrible pain you have and continually get.
It comes in waves when you least expect it,
And you think, please stop now and give me a rest for a bit.

With my batteries recharged, I’’m ready for the next bout of pain,
Gosh, I forgot how it was driving me insane.
I keep my head high and everyone says I look just fine,
But they have no idea how I really feel at this present moment in time.

I may not have bandages and plaster anywhere on my body,
But believe me it just keeps on coming back and driving me potty.
Now I’’ve tried everything available in the book,
And yes, it helps but only with my foot!!!

I’’m writing this poem as I just can’t sleep,
It’s that awful pain again from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I’’m sure one-day someone will find a cure,
But until then I shall just have to suffer some more.




Last night was the final episode of the first series of ‘The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs’, on BBC 1. In this concluding part of the program Dr Chris van Tulleken carries on with his aim to try to get patients off drugs.  His first patient of the night is chronic “back pain” sufferer ‘Crystal’ who is on a gambit of drugs for her pain. He first takes her to see a Physiotherapist who soon realises that Crystal would need to stay on her medication for quite some time while he treated her. Dr Chris Van Tulleken then comes up with the idea of her meeting a ‘Kung Fu’ expert to try and slowly get her body moving and at the same time start reducing her medication.

You could see how much pain Crystal was in and to my utter amazement after a few months doing ‘Kung Fu’ she could move amazingly well and she was in a lot less pain. It was worth watching the program last night just to see how Crystal improved.

Last week he had another patient who had been on anti-depressants for years and whom he suggested a ‘cold water swim’ to help with this problem. On last night’s episode she was doing well until she went for a swim in a lake on her own where she endured a panic attack and thought she was going to drown. Dr Chris van Tulleken said what she needed was a swimming partner, and a swimming partner she got, which seemed to work the trick for her. Another tick in the box for Tulleken but possibly something that would be hard to sustain with patients at a Doctors surgery with no cold water lake nearby to swim in.

Dr Chris van Tulleken also completed a questionnaire used to assess whether patients have depression. According to his results he said, ” I have moderate depression. I’ll tell you, I do not have moderate depression!”  before pointing out that the questionnaire is available on the NHS website !!!!

His last group of patients were people who were taking drugs to reduce the risk of heart attack’s or stroke’s. He soon comes up with what he believes to be a more sensible alternative ‘walking’. The group he puts together are not impressed but they agree to take part. The results are amazing and even the other Doctors in the practice were shocked but I guess the big question is ‘will half an hour’s walk 5 days a week’, persuade them to keep off the pills?

I found the program totally fascinating and hope a second series will come along to see if Dr Chris van Tulleken has made more progress with his quest to get people off drugs. It’s obvious from the two-part series that many, many people (including me) are on a mixture of drugs to help with a mixture of medical conditions but certainly some of his ideas do work. Whether his new type of treatments can be given to patients I guess will as always boil down to NHS funding and experts in those fields.


Arthritis logo

Monday 13th May is the start of Arthritis Care Week. With the theme of ‘Something Can Always Be Done’.The aim of Arthritis Care Awareness Week is to help and educate people in a relaxed environment. 

Arthritis in the UK is very common and affects some ten million people (one in six) of the UK population, many of whom are in constant pain.

But knowledge of arthritis is very low, misunderstanding and misinformation rife, and most people think that there’s nothing that they can do about it and that it’s inevitable. Says Arthritis Care acting CEO Phil Baker, ” We want to set the record straight during Arthritis Care Week as we believe that something can always be done”.
There are 200 types of arthritis and making even small changes to your lifestyle and managing symptoms will help. However, the first step is always the hardest so Arthritis Care say call their free and confidential helpline 0808 800 4050 or email them for help with your condition.