Paracetamol is a generic name and is used as an ingredient in a certain group of medicines intended to work as a painkiller, anti-inflammatory drugs. The drug lies in the category of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Paracetamol is manufactured in powdered form by Farmsons. Later, the brand name is formulated on the basis of combination and the company that is manufacturing the specific drug. Some of the drugs which contain paracetamol as one of its ingredients are Panadol, Calpol and Tylenol. Paracetamol assists in inhibiting chemicals which are responsible for pain. Also, the drug carries antipyretic property and hence prescribed or combined in the medicine which is used to reduce fever.
The Paracetamol is prescribed for different kind of pains such as toothache, joint pain, cancer pain, and post-surgery pain. Other than that, the medicine is recommended for fever and inflammatory conditions such as edema. The drug can be taken as over-the-counter medicine, however, in severe cases or in case of allergic reactions a doctor should be consulted and the condition should be discussed before consuming paracetamol or medicine which contains paracetamol as its ingredient. As in case of certain diseases, it can worsen the condition.
The main ingredient of paracetamol is Acetaminophen. It carries antipyretic and analgesic property. The ingredient works by blocking the way of Nitric oxide (NO) and intervenes with various neurotransmitter receptors. This leads to the elevation of the pain threshold in the body. The antipyretic effect is caused when the synthesis of prostaglandin is blocked and the chemical interferes with the heat-regulating center which is located in the anterior hypothalamus. The amount of Acetaminophen depends on the drugs it is combined with.
Paracetamol has several properties which include antipyretic property, analgesic property, anti-inflammatory property, and anti-coagulant property. The drug is combined with other drugs, as mentioned earlier for the desired effect. Here is a list of conditions for which the medicine is prescribed:
Note: Above mentioned list of usage of Paracetamol is just an extract of the conditions for which the drug is prescribed frequently. There may be other conditions where the drug can be used. Always, consult a doctor before using it for other purpose.
Apart from the intended effect, the Paracetamol might show some unexpected and undesired effects; which entirely depend on the health condition of the user, and do not occur usually. The side effects of Paracetamol can vary from one person. Some of the most common Paracetamol side effects that have complaint been by the user are listed below:
The list mentioned above does not contain all the possible side effects; there may be other side effects. The side effects of Paracetamol may not be very serious; however; in case these side effects do not subside by themselves, a medical professional should be consulted.
Paracetamol belongs to the category of antipyretic i.e. temperature reducer and analgesic i.e. painkiller. When the body experiences certain injury or illness, then a chemical is released called as prostaglandins in the body. Paracetamol inhibits the synthesis of this chemical, resulting in reliving from pain. Also, paracetamol increases the threshold of body temperature by targeting the part of the brain which regulates the temperature of the body. The Paracetamol is prescribed for relieving some symptoms such as fever, cold, flu, sprains and toothache. The Paracetamol medicine is available under different brand names.
The medicine is available in several forms and is prescribed depending on the condition of the patient. Here is a list containing variants of Paracetamol:
If Paracetamol is not available or there is any history of allergic reactions, then in that case any other medicine with the same properties can be taken. Any medicine with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic property can be taken as an alternative to the Paracetamol can be taken depending on the condition. Here are some of the drugs which can be substituted for Paracetamol:
A pharmacist or healthcare professional should be consulted before using any of the above-mentioned medicine as an alternative.
Combining paracetamol with other medicines or certain food items can result in undesired effect. Some conditions can also get worse due to interaction. Hence, a medical practitioner should be informed beforehand to avoid any complications.
Here is a list which is found to give adverse effects, hence should not be used along with Paracetamol.
Paracetamol, when consumed along with some drugs, might cancel out the intended effect or react and produce some undesired effects.
In order to avoid such situation, a doctor should be pre-informed about the drugs in use. Also, paracetamol is also used as an ingredient in some medicines. So, before taking a medicine read the ingredients and make sure that the drug interaction will not result.
Here is a list of drugs which might produce some unwanted effects:
A medical practitioner should be pre-informed about the clinical condition of an individual before prescribing paracetamol. Sometimes, consuming paracetamol in case of certain diseases might diversify the disease.
Here is a list of diseases Paracetamol should be avoided:
An individual with chronic alcohol habit should use Paracetamol with extreme caution as combining both enhances the risk of serious liver injuries. To avoid any complications, the medicine should be consumed under the supervision of medical professional and liver functions should be monitored closely.
Consumption of alcohol in the course of Paracetamol might result in weakness, fatigue, gastrointestinal bleeding, dizziness, rashes, nausea, joint pain, fever, jaundice, etc. If any of the mentioned or any other undesired effect is experienced, then a doctor should be consulted without any delay.
Certain food may interact with Paracetamol and result into some kind of clinical reaction.
Fortunately, there are no such food items that should be avoided in case of Paracetamol.
Due to the presence of certain chemical in the body, the lab results are manipulated. In this case, the patient will remain deprived of the actual treatment. Hence, a pathologist should be informed before conducting a lab test.
5-HIAA Urine Test: Conducting this test after consuming Paracetamol might give a false-positive result. To avoid such a situation, a lab technician should be informed about the consumption of medicine before conducting the test.
The above-mentioned list does not contain an exhaustive list of drug interactions. A doctor should be consulted to know about all the possible drug interactions, for the drug being consumed.
Ans: No, there is no chance of becoming addictive to paracetamol.
Ans: When consumed according to the prescription, the ingredients are excreted from the body within 24 hours of consumption. According to reports by medical labs, the mid-point elimination half-life of paracetamol is 2.5 hours which is shorter than that of caffeine i.e. 5 hours. Hence, there is no concern of causing any harm later.
Ans: Usually, the drug is taken for pain and fever, and in that case there is very less chance body becoming resistant to Paracetamol.
In case the symptoms persist even after consuming the prescribed dosage, a medical professional should be consulted.
Ans: Yes, this medicine helps in relieving the pain due to menstrual cramps.
Ans: No, Paracetamol is an over the counter (OTC) medicine. However, a doctor should be consulted to avoid any kind of drug interaction.
Ans: The medicine can be consumed with or without food. However, the dosage should be strictly based on instruction as it may vary for a person of different age groups.
Ans: There is no complaint of sleepiness or drowsiness after consumption of Paracetamol. Hence, it is safe to drive or operate machinery which requires concentration.
However, after effects may vary from one person to person. Thereby, if an individual experiences drowsiness or sleepiness then such activities should be avoided.
Ans: The analgesic effect i.e. pain-relieving effect can be experienced within half an hour of administration. The antipyretic effect i.e. fever reduction effect can be experienced within 30 minutes of consumption.
Ans: Paracetamol does not interact with many medicines. However, there are certain medicines which should not be consumed along with Paracetamol. Such medicines include antifungal medication, blood-thinning medicine, a medicine containing ethanol, etc.
In case of any other ongoing medicines that you are doubtful of interaction, then consult a pharmacist or to be on the safe side ask your GP.
Ans: A doctor should be consulted and Paracetamol should be consumed only when benefits outweigh all the risks. If it poses severe side effects, then paracetamol should be replaced with a suitable substitute.
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