Information paper

Pain relievers and asthma

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A quick reference guide for pharmacy.

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provoke asthma or rhinitis symptoms in some people with asthma, yet many others can take these medications with very low risk of an asthma reaction.

The ‘Pain relievers and asthma: quick reference guide’ was developed to aid pharmacists and pharmacy assistants when dispensing analgesics to people with asthma. This pharmacy resource includes an update of the evidence on aspirin-intolerant asthma and a flowchart of the essential questions to ask patients requesting pain reliever medications.


Developed in consultation with Associate Professor Frank Thien, respiratory physician and allergist, and Dr Jenny Gowan, pharmacist.

This resource was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Reckitt Benckiser. National Asthma Council Australia retained editorial control.


Although all care has been taken, this resource is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice/treatment. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including for negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.

 © 2009 National Asthma Council Australia Ltd