Compound analgesic

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Compound analgesics are those with multiple active ingredients; they include many of the stronger prescription analgesics.

Active ingredients that have been commonly used in compound analgesics include:

Several such formulations have disappeared from over-the-counter status in drug store aisles and other retail outlets. One example is APC (aspirin, phenacetin, and caffeine) compound tablets common from the 1940s to 1983; because of harmful side effects of phenacetin, Anacin in the U.S. was reformulated to eliminate it; while Vincent's APC is no longer sold. Some others have been judged to contribute too often to substance abuse.[citation needed]

Another example is Bex, a once popular Australian compound analgesic which is no longer sold. It contained 42% aspirin, 42% phenacetin, plus caffeine.[1]

The United States Food and Drug Administration also now requires that manufacturers of compound analgesics unequivocally state each ingredient's purpose.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Powerhouse Museum. "Packet of Bex Powders". Powerhouse Museum, Australia. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 

External links[edit]

  • APC definition and brief history.