Paracetamol – Know about its uses

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is a pain-killer included in Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) group of drugs. The main use of this medicine is to lessen inflammation. It reduces pain (joint pains, headaches, body-aches, sprains, etc) and fever. So, it is used as an adjunct medicine in any condition that presents with signs of inflammation. If you are familiar with aspirin (another drug included in NSAIDs group), paracetamol is similar to it.

How paracetamol works:

It is very widely used over the counter medication. Paracetamol is often sold in combination with other drugs such as in many cold medications. In combination with opioid pain medication, paracetamol is also used for more severe pain such as cancer pain and post-surgery pain. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally but is also available intravenously. Effects last for 2-4 hours.

Paracetamol is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drug, falling into the category of anti-pyretic with no anti-inflammatory or analgesic activity. NSAIDs in general act by inhibiting the enzyme Cyclooxygenase (types 1, 2 and 3) which produce the pain producing substances.

Paracetamol specifically acts on COX-3 enzyme which is found only in the thermal regulatory center of hypothalamus and reduces the thermostat (which is usually set to a higher temperature in fever), thereby lowering body temperature. Paracetamol also blocks the release of certain chemicals messengers that are responsible for inflammation and pain.

Paracetamol uses:

Paracetamol Tablet is used for the treatment, control, prevention, and improvement of the following diseases and symptoms:

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Side effects of paracetamol:

  • Skin redness
  • Allergic reaction
  • Shortness of breath
  • Running nose
  • Nausea
  • Liver injury
  • Abnormal blood cell count
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Facial swelling

Precautions:

Do not use paracetamol more than recommended dose. An overdose of paracetamol can cause serious problems. The maximum amount for adults is One gram (1000 mg) per dose and Four grams (4000 mg) per day. Using excess paracetamol could cause damage to your liver. If you drink more than3 alcoholic beverages per day, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking paracetamol and never use more than Two grams (2000 mg) per day. If you are treating a child, use a pediatric form of paracetamol. Carefully follow the dosing directions on the medicine packet. Do not give the medication to a child younger than Two years old without the advice of a doctor. Before taking paracetamol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. Paracetamol may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Hot & Cold Pack

Side effects (Rare):

  • Bloody or black, tarry stools and bloody or cloudy urine
  • Pain in the lower back and/or side (sharp and/or severe)
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching and Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Fever with or without chills (not present before treatment and not caused by the condition being treated)
  • Sore throat
  • Sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

Paracetamol overdose symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, swelling, tenderness in the upper abdomen or stomach area

General warning:

Over dosage:

Taking more than prescribed paracetamol may cause harmful side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you find any side effects. Paracetamol available in the market in various dosage forms. Read the label carefully before taking this medicine to avoid overdosage.

Missing dosage:

If you miss the dosage take as soon as possible, and if it is near to next dose, skip the missing dosage continue the regular dosage. Do not take extra doses.

Pregnancy:

Not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved. Paracetamol is not known to cause any harm to the fetus, but should only be used after consultation with your doctor.

Breast-feeding:

Safe to use during breastfeeding. Before taking this medicine consult your doctor.

Substitutes for Paracetamol Tablet:

Below is the list of medicines, which have the same composition, strength and form as Paracetamol Tablet, and hence can be used as its substitute.

  • PCM 500 MG Tablet
  • Lupicin 500 MG Tablet
  • Macfast 500 MG Tablet
  • Acticin 500 MG Tablet
  • Ultragin 500 MG Tablet

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2 thoughts on “Paracetamol – Know about its uses

    • Please read carefully as the blog mentions all the side effects noted to date. Although the side effects may vary from person to person depending upon overdosing issues, drug interactions, food interactions and their diseased conditions.

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