What is paracetamol is used for?

An analgesic and antipyretic, paracetamol (Panadol, Calpol, and Alvedon) is used to temporarily alleviate mild to moderate pain and fever. In addition to being used on its own, it is frequently included in cold and flu medications.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and paracetamol are identical drugs. Using the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) generic name system, the medication was given the name “paracetamol. “The medication is referred to as paracetamol in places like Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Using the United States Adopted Names (USAN) system, the generic name is acetaminophen. In nations like the United States, Canada, and Japan, the medication is known as acetaminophen. A medication’s INN and USAN generic names typically do not differ between nations.

Paracetamol’s exact mechanism of action is murky. Notwithstanding, it is remembered to work by hindering substance couriers in the cerebrum that let us know when we’re in torment and by influencing the compound couriers that manage our internal heat level. According to the evidence, prostaglandins, which the body makes to fight illness and injury, appear to be inhibited by paracetamol. Additionally, the serotonergic, opioid, nitric oxide, and cannabinoid pathways are thought to be affected.

Although paracetamol was first produced in 1878, its use only increased in the 1950s. Paracetamol is currently one of the most widely used painkillers worldwide. There are generic and brand-name versions of this medication.

What is paracetamol used for

Paracetamol can be purchased over the counter (OTC) or with a prescription. It is used to relieve:

  • Headache
  • Tension headache
  • Migraine
  • Backache
  • Rheumatic and muscle pain
  • Mild arthritis/osteoarthritis
  • Toothache
  • Period pain (dysmenorrhea)
  • Colds and flu symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus pain
  • Post-operative pain
  • Fever (pyrexia)

Who should and should not take paracetamol

Paracetamol is safe for most people, including:

  • pregnant women
  • breastfeeding women
  • children over 2 months of age

Check the leaflet that comes with paracetamol or ask your pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure if you can take it. Before taking paracetamol, always seek medical advice if you:

have issues with their kidneys or liver; abuse alcohol excessively for an extended period is exceptionally underweight are taking different drugs (see Communications with different meds beneath). Try not to take paracetamol assuming you’ve had allergic reactions to it before.

How to take paracetamol

Take paracetamol according to the directions on the label or leaflet, or as directed by a medical professional. Your age, weight, the kind of paracetamol you’re taking, and how strong it all affects how much you can take.For instance:

Adults should not consume more than 4g (8 x 500mg tablets) in 24 hours, but they should take one or two tablets (500mg) every 4-6 hours.

Check the package or leaflet, or ask a pharmacist or doctor for advice—depending on their age and weight, children under 16 require a lower dose. Using an oral syringe or a measuring spoon, paracetamol liquid is administered to very young children.

Within an hour, paracetamol should begin to work, and its effects typically last for several hours. If it does not alleviate your symptoms, do not take more than the recommended dose.

Side effects of paracetamol

Paracetamol can cause the following side effects:

thrombocytopenia (low number of platelets) and leukopenia (low number of white blood cells) liver and kidney damage if you take too much (overdose) – this can be fatal in severe cases Speak with a pharmacist or doctor if you develop any troublesome side effects that you think could be caused by paracetamol. an allergic reaction that can cause a rash, swelling, flushing, low blood pressure, and a fast heartbeat. 

Overdoses of paracetamol

An overdose, also known as taking too much paracetamol, can be very dangerous.

Go to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) center as soon as possible if you have taken more than the recommended dose.


Store paracetamol suppositories in a cool, dry place below 77°F (25°C) and out of direct sunlight. Store paracetamol effervescent tablets below 86°F (30°C). Do not use the medication after the expiration date unless otherwise instructed. Use the container within one month of opening it. If the effervescent tablets have visible signs of deterioration, such as brown or black spots, bulging, or discolored tablets, you should not take them.

For infusion, store paracetamol solution below 86°F (30°C). Avoid freezing or storing. Keep it in the original packaging and out of direct sunlight.

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