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What painkillers are stonger than paracetamol and are they safe for me to take?

Q) I've had rheumatoid arthritis for 37 years, affecting my hands, wrists and left elbow. As a result of taking Vioxx and diclofenac I had a stroke in January 2006, leaving me partially sighted. My question is what would be a safe tablet to take that's stronger than paracetamol? I've tried tramadol, which caused headaches, dizziness and sickness. So I go back to paracetamol which is for mild or moderate pain, and arthritis can be severe at times.
Mrs B Walker, Polegate, East Sussex (Spring 2007) 

A) There's a big gap in the market since co-proxamol was ‘withdrawn’. Between paracetamol and tramadol there's a need for a stronger painkiller without the constipating side-effects of codeine (in co-codamol) and dihydrocodeine (in co-dydramol). Some of the stronger painkillers are now available in patch form and they certainly seem to produce fewer side-effects, although they're expensive.


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