Know your pain relief options

Studies* that look at the effectiveness of pain medicines prescribed to patients after a surgical procedure found that a combination of 200 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of acetaminophen worked better than prescription opioids. Treatment with opioids alone actually provided the least amount of pain relief.

Medicine Efficacy

Medicine Efficacy (click for larger image)View all graphics


Ask your medical provider to discuss all your pain relief options before accepting a prescription for opioids – there may be safer and more effective choices.

*Independent review of clinical research conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2014. Learn more

The Board's position on treating pain

Safer choices

    You have options when it comes to pain management, some of which may actually work better and have fewer risks and side effects. Talk with your doctor about what options may work best for you.
  • CDC Non-Opioid Treatments

Media and Video Resources

The Rx Awareness campaign

    Watch real stories of people whose lives have been negatively impacted by prescription opioid use and abuse.
  • Watch the video series

WRAL Documentary

    A must watch documentary by WRAL-TV focusing on the opioid crisis in North Carolina. No matter who, how, or why folks become addicted to opioids, this is a public health crisis that touches us all.
  • Watch the documentary