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New: Warnings on painkillers

In future, warnings will have to be affixed to the packaging of over-the-counter painkillers. These are intended to sensitize the consumer not to take the remedies for a longer period without medical advice.

Affected are drugs that are used for mild to moderate pain and fever. They contain the following active ingredients:

  • Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin)
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac


Side effects


Unless otherwise recommended by the doctor, the medications mentioned should not be taken for more than three or four days, as otherwise the risk of serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage or strokes increases.




Although every medicine package contains an instruction leaflet, many consumers do not read it, according to a survey by the Robert Koch Institute. For this reason, pharmaceutical companies will in future be obliged to print the following sentence on the outer packaging:

“In case of pain or fever, do not use without medical advice for longer than directed in the package insert!”

The Federal Council approved the ordinance on Friday (08.06.2018). The complete regulation can be found here. Pharmaceutical companies have a transitional period of two years.


Source: Spiegel Online


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