This Just In: Drinking Two Beers Is Better Than Codeine For Pain Relief

This Just In: Drinking Two Beers Is Better Than Codeine For Pain Relief

According to a new study, drinking two beers in a row is a faster and more effective way to relieve pain than codeine or paracetamol. No, really.

Anyone who’s ever fallen arse-over-tip while drunk knows that alcohol dulls pain – it’s only the next morning that you begin to feel the damage from the night before.

However, a new study has found you don’t actually need to be intoxicated to enjoy the analgesic benefits of grog. Just two beers was shown to be more effective at combating pain than non-prescription painkillers.

Researchers from the University of Greenwich conducted a meta-analysis of 18 controlled experiments supporting the analgesic effects of alcohol. They observed that alcohol resulted in a small increase in pain threshold as well as a moderate-to-large decrease in pain ratings.

As you’d expect, higher blood alcohol content resulted in greater pain relief. However, a blood alcohol content of just 0.08 per cent -approximately two medium-strength beers – was enough to trump most commercial pain killers, including heavy-hitters like codeine.

Interestingly, the study concluded that this was a potentially bad thing for patients:

This meta-analysis provides robust evidence for the analgesic properties of alcohol, which could potentially contribute to alcohol misuse in pain patients. Strongest analgesia occurs for alcohol levels exceeding World Health Organization guidelines for low-risk drinking and suggests raising awareness of alternative, less harmful pain interventions to vulnerable patients may be beneficial.

Obviously, anyone who suffers from chronic pain shouldn’t be self-medicating with alcohol. However, for occasional pain relief we’d argue that two beers is no more harmful than a handful of paracetamol. It’s also tastier and more social.

You can find out more about the study in the Channel Nine video below.



  • haha wow that stock image used for the header is great, empties all over the CAR, no one paying attention whilst cheering before presumably returning to drink driving, i’m not usually one for “people copy what they see” stuff but dam talk about making light of something everyone wishes would stop happening

    • The driver doesn’t appear to be joining in the chug fest (and if she is, they’re defo going to need that pain relief.)

      • You need glasses friend. 4 hands with 4 bottles. The driver has a bottle in her right hand. Maybe you had too many glasses?

        • They’re clearly drinking non-alcoholic Ginger beer… Which actually makes it an entirely inappropriate image now ?

  • So, you’re telling me that 4 pack of the 6.5% IPA is good for me when i’m in pain. Awesome.

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