This page gives you information about pain relief medications that you may need to take after your day case surgery. The type of medication you need will depend on the type of surgery that you have. Your anaesthetist, surgeon and nurse will discuss suitable pain relief with you.


While you are in hospital, you may be given one or a combination of the following:

Paracetamol - is a mild pain relief medicine for mild to moderate pain. If you have had minor surgery, you may only need to take paracetamol.

Ibuprofen - is an anti-inflammatory medicine for moderate pain. It should be taken with or after food to reduce pain and swelling.

Codeine - is a strong pain relief for moderate to severe pain. Codeine can cause constipation, nausea or light headedness.

Please refer to the information leaflet provided with the medication.

You may also be given an alternative pain relief to take home to the ones already mentioned. The nurse will discuss the dose and when to take before you leave the day surgery unit.

What if I am unable to take any of these medications?

Please discuss this with your nurse and anaesthetist when you come in for surgery.

What if I normally take different pain relief medications?

If you normally take different pain relief medications to the ones listed on this page, please bring them with you and discuss with your nurse and anaesthetist on the day of your surgery.

What happens when I go home?

Depending on the surgery you have had, you may need to continue taking pain relief when you go home.


We do not normally provide you with paracetamol and ibuprofen to take home after your surgery.

If you do not already have these at home, please get some before your day case surgery. You can buy paracetamol and ibuprofen in your local pharmacy and supermarkets.

As you recover from your surgery, you should be able to reduce the amount of pain relief that you are taking.

What should I do if I am still in a lot of pain?

If you are taking regular pain relief medication and are still in a lot of pain then please contact your GP for advice.

Contact information

If you have any problems or questions, please call the Day Surgery Unit you attended for your surgery:

Chedworth Surgical Unit

Tel: 0300 422 3588

Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 9:00pm

Mayhill Unit

Tel: 0300 422 6751

Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 9:00pm

Alternatively, you can contact your GP or NHS 111.

NHS 111

Tel: 111

Printable version of this page

Pain relief medication following day surgery GHPI0804_07_23 Department: General surgery Review due: July 2026 PDF, 228.7 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI0804_07_23
Department General surgery
Review due July 2026