Doctors have also warned that the taking of too many painkillers on a long-term basis may be killing as many as 2,000 Britons a year.
Britons are thought to consume around five tonnes of aspirin every day.
And it’s women who are popping more pills than men in order to carry on their busy lives and not give into niggling aches and pains.
Crookes (makers of Nurofen) did a study in July last year that found the split for analgesics (overthecounter painkillers) users is 44 per cent men to 56 per cent women.
The study found that 83 per cent of women buy analgesics for themselves or their household, while only 49 per cent of men do the same.
The two main reasons for both men and women buying painkillers were headaches and back pain.
Maeve O’Connell, a pharmacist for Boots The Chemist, says: ‘In my experience, women are more likely to buy painkillers than men.
‘This could be because they want to get on with their lives rather than suffer from a headache or period pain, whereas men are more likely to suffer in silence.’ However, doctors and pharmacists are worried about the levels of drugs being consumed by the British public.
Labels warn that painkillers should be taken for no more than three days – and then medical help should be sought.
Yet despite these cautions, many people ignore the advice and take them for several months at a time. ‘You should never take painkillers long-term, unless prescribed by your GP,’ says Maeve O’Connell.
‘For instance, taking paracetamol continually can actually have a reverse effect and potentially cause a headache.
‘You should always read the label, and not take ibuprofen if you are allergic to aspirin or are asthmatic. All painkillers may interact with any other drugs you may be taking, so you should always check with your doctor if you are on any other forms of medication before you take painkillers.’
BY: DRASHTI DESAI.. (FY B.PHARM)