OBJECTIVES The aim of our study was to analyse analgesic risk perception and then to compare analgesic drug choice among general practitioners. METHOD The structured questionnaire was used and completed during continuous medical education lectures. Series of targeted open or close questions and visual analog scale (VAS) to determine drug risk perception were used. Slovak general practitioners attending continuous medical education lectures during 2004-2005 were invited to participate in the study. Group 1 consisted of respodents from Bratislava (capital city of Slovakia, n = 245) and group 2 consisted of general practitioners from 3 other cities (middle and eastern Slovakia, n = 325). Data were compared to reported adverse drug reactions. RESULTS Quarter of doctors 25.3% (n = 62), (25.2% (n = 82) respectively), considered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to be the safest group of analgesics. Gastrointestinal damage in general was perceived as most common adverse drug reaction. 72.41% (75.94% respectively) of respondents considered analgesics as exactly or probably danger. Perceived drug risk labeled on VAS was 4.23 (SD 1.52), (3.22 (SD 2.19) respectively) (p < 0.05). Total number of reported adverse drug reactions in years 1998-2002 was 3249, 412 were related to analgesic use. Specific organotoxic adverse drug reactions (nephrotoxicity, etc.) were reported rarely. CONCLUSION The actual perception of analgesic risk in Slovakia seems to be generally inadequate. We found only a low support of spontaneous adverse drug reactions reporting to the national monitoring system (Tab. 1, Fig. 2, Ref. 11).