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Working together for excellent healthcare in North Norfolk and rural Broadland

 When required in small quantities or for short periods, it is better for the NHS if people buy paracetamol and ibuprofen without a prescription.

For this reason, NHS North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group - your local NHS organisation responsible for planning and buying health care - has agreed that GPs will stop prescribing paracetamol and ibuprofen in smaller quantities for short-term use.
You can help with this by buying these painkillers from a shop, pharmacy or petrol station.  All paracetamol and ibuprofen products are available as less expensive generic or in-store brands.  When provided on prescription, they cost the NHS significantly more.
If you are a patient who needs these drugs in regular large quantities, don't worry - you will continue to get them on repeat prescription.



There are limits to the number of painkillers sold by some outlets, including supermarkets, but pharmacies can sell them in larger quantities.  It is good to keep your medicines cabinet stocked up so remember to think about painkillers when you are writing your shopping list.
  • By keeping a selection of essential medications and storing them safely at home you can treat common conditions and minor ailments in a timely manner.
  • This can mean that you save both time and money and start to feel better quicker.
  • It can also avoid any unnecessary trip to the doctor, and even visits to the A&E department.
With thanks to Ipswich & East Suffolk CCG for their permission in using their artwork for this poster


NHS Choices - Uses of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen

Paracetamol can be used to:
  • ease mild to moderate pain  for example, headaches, sprains, or toothache
  • control a fever (high temperature, also known as pyrexia)  for example, when someone has the flu (influenza)
Find out more


Ibuprofen is a painkiller, which is available over-the-counter, without a prescription.

It is one of a group of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and can be used to:

Find out more





For further information please email your enquiry to: nnccg.contactus [at] nhs.net

If you have been directly affected by the cessation of prescriptions for paracetamol and ibuprofen for short-term use and wish to raise a formal complaint in this regard, please contact:

NHS NEL Commissioning Support Unit, Lakeside 400, Old Chapel Way, Broadland Business Park, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich NR7 0WG
E-mail: NELCSU.AngliaComplaints [at] nhs.net