Paracetamol is one of the most common analgesic and antipyretic drugs used in pain management. The fact that paracetamol does not irritate the stomach makes it the most popular painkiller in use.
Research indicates that paracetamol works by blocking the production of chemicals, known as prostaglandins, which are involved in pain transmission.
Paracetamol is one of the most common drugs used in the world and is manufactured in huge quantities. The drug is commonly marketed under a vast range of brand names. Here we list a few main amongst them:
Paracetamol is generally prescribed for relief from mild to moderate pain. The most common medical conditions for which paracetamol is recommended include:
Minor aches and pains
Muscle and joint pain
Post-immunization pyrexia (high temperature after immunization)
Also known as, acetaminophen, paracetamol is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu medications, as well as many prescription analgesics. When combined with decongestant ingredients, paracetamol is highly effective in relieving the symptoms of common cold, influenza and sinusitis.
Things to consider
There are a few basic facts that must be remembered while on a prescription of paracetamol. Here we list the main points that are important:
Overdose of paracetamol is dangerous and capable of causing serious damage to the liver and kidneys.
Alcohol increases the risk of liver damage that can occur if an overdose of paracetamol is taken.
Consult your doctor if symptoms exist for more than three days.
Patients with a decreased kidney and liver function should use paracetamol with caution
Paracetamol is available in tablets, syrups, drops and suspension. The recommended dosage for adults is 500 mg to 1000 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4000 mg (8 tablets) in 24 hours.
For children, the doses for paracetamol depend on the age and weight. Though it can be given to young babies after vaccinations on doctor’s advice, it is generally not recommended for babies under three months of age.
Syrups containing paracetamol, such as Calpol, are easier to be taken for younger children. In fact, paracetamol is the most common over-the-counter medication prescribed for children.
When taken at the prescribed dosage, there are almost no side effects of paracetamol.
However, there are certain limited side effects of paracetamol in some cases. These include:
Swelling of pancreas after prolonged use