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Paracetamol – uses and its adverse effects

Published Wed Aug 07 2013 By Jhr Na

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Paracetamol or acetaminophen is one of the most widely used drugs over the century. It is classified as para-amino phenol derivatives and commonly used as mild analgesic and anti-pyretic drug. The analgesic action of paracetamol is due to suppression of the central nervous system(CNS) rather than the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Though this drug has anti-pyretic and analgesic action, it has no antiinflammatory effect .

The major benefits of using paracetamol are;

  1. It doesn't stimulate respiratory center.
  2. It doesn't affect the acid-base balance of body.
  3. It doesn't increase the cellular metabolism.
  4. It doesn't cause gastric irritation, so gastric ulcers and bleeding are rare unless its an overdose.
  5. It doesn't cross the placental barrier. So, can be used in pregnant.
  6. It doesn't affect the platelet function and the clotting factors
  7. .Hypersensitivity(allergy) is very rare.
  8. It can be used in all age groups.




it is a condition when temperature of the body rises above normal 37 degree celsious (98,6 degree fahrenheit).since we already mentioned that paracetamol has an anti-pyretic action. So, it is most commonly used during fever. The WHO reccomends that paracetamol can be used in children if the temperature is above 38,6 degree celsious. It is best drug to use in children during fever because there's no risk of Reye's syndrome.




popularly known for its analgesic action without antiinflammatory effect, it is widely used in mild headaches , muscle aches, arthiritis. It can be used in the persons with excess gastric secretion and prolonged bleeding time instead of asprin . It can be used during

  1. Headache.
  2. Mild migraine.
  3. Musculoskeletal pain.
  4. Dysmenorrhoea.
  5. Osteoarthiritis


Adverse effects:

  1. nausea and rashes occurs ocassionally.
  2. Lekopenia(decrease in leucocytes count) may occur but rarely.
  3. Analgesic nephropathy.
  4. Acute paracetamol poisoning may occur in small children which may lead to hepatic failure.
  5. Some studies has shown that use of paracetamol during pregnancy may lead to the infertility in the adult life of the unborn.
  6. In some studies , it is found that use of paracetamol may cause respiratory related problems like asthma during 6-7 years of life.
  7. Since paracetamol is metabolized by the liver, it shouldn't be used in persons with chronic alcoholics , hepatic diseases, and should never be mixed with alcoholic drinks.
  8. Normally , overdose symptoms is seen within few hours after taking paracetamol and it includes symptoms like nausea, vomitting, pain(due to hepatic failure). So , in such cases its better to call an ambulance of health workers as fast as possible.

But we should always remember few things before taking certain drugs.

  1. Always take drugs by doctor's prescribtion.
  2. Always check whether the drug is expired or not.
  3. And never take more drugs than prescribed because taking more drugs doesn't heal you fast.