What is paracetamol?
Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is a medicine that is used to treat fevers and mild or moderate achesin people. This is thanks to the analgesic and antipyretic properties contained in this drug.
Note: A bulletin published by theDepartment of Pharmacology and Therapeutics of the Republic of Uruguay University confirms that paracetamolis an analgesic and antipyretic drugthat relieve muscle aches and high fevers. (1)
This drug has asactive ingredient, paracetamol, but in addition to this it has other components that are stearicacid, povidone, crospovidone, cornstarch (gluten-free) and magnesium stearate of vegetable origin.
To highlight: Before taking this drug to treat any symptoms of pain and fever, therisk of being allergicto any of these components should be taken into account, so you should consult your doctor immediately before any reaction that seems undue.
Presentations and dosage
Paracetamol comes in boxes of presentations of tablets , that is, pills that are taken orally, ranging from 500, 650 and 1000 mg each, this makes it necessary to consult a doctor, since the dose can vary by presentation.
In the same way, the normal dose of paracetamol is 1 tablet of 500 mg every 4-6 hoursin adults and children over 12 years of age with a body weight of 40 kg. You should not take more than 4 of these tablets per day as they can cause poisoning.
What is paracetamol indicated for?
Paracetamol is a drug that is widely used today in society, due to the indications that this medication has, since it helps to alleviate or eliminate annoying symptoms in people, some of these being the following:
Elimination of pain
The main indication of paracetamol is to eliminate the sensation of pain in any part of the body, due to its analgesic properties. This makes it a very practical medicine and an easy solution for those who have pain.
Important: An article published by the Journal of Anesthesia in Mexico mentions that paracetamol is a drug widely used throughout the world (including in pediatrics) for its analgesic properties to eliminate pain, being widely prescribed by the medical community. (two)
Decrease in febrile states
The second indication for paracetamol is to Reduce febrile states in people , since as mentioned above, this drug has Antipyretic properties , which greatly helps against fever quickly.
This is confirmed by an article published in the Mexican Journal of Pediatrics on fever, where it mentions that paracetamol is the most widely used drug due to its antipyretic functiontag. This makes it quite a practical and useful medicine.(3)
Although paracetamol is widely used by many people today, it should also be taken into account that it has contraindications, so it should not be taken in these cases as it is possible that they aggravate the problem, these being the following:
One of the main contraindications of paracetamol is hypersensitivity to its components, since the reaction of the immune system can be excessive or minimal , causing harmful symptoms to the person such as vomiting, nausea or discomfort.
Among other symptoms that can occur due to sensitivity to the components of paracetamol are nausea, abdominal pain, hepatotoxicity and even pancreatitis , so it is recommended to discontinue the use of this drug quickly.
Liver and kidney conditions
Liver conditions are also contraindications for the use of paracetamol, since the liver may not be able to purify them correctly , which damages this organ more than it should in cases of ingesting higher doses than normal.
Similarly, in the case of kidney conditions, paracetamol is contraindicated, since it can cause platelet dysfunction and increase the risk of intestinal bleeding or renal toxicity with prolonged treatments or high doses.
heart and lung disease
Another of the contraindications of paracetamol are heart and lung diseases, since prolonged treatments of this drug can decrease glutathione, which is an antioxidant that naturally acts as an oxidative protector.
Important: A study that was carried out at the Federation of Biochemistry of the province of Buenos Aires in Argentina confirms that glutathione is a main antioxidant in the body , whose essential role is to protect us against oxidative damage in all our cells. (4)
People who suffer from anemia should consult their doctor for the use of paracetamol, in the same way it is not recommended to have prolonged treatments in these cases since they can cause blood disorders causing other symptoms.
Similarly, great caution should be exercised in cases of anemia due to G6PD deficiency (glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency), since a study published by a Cuban pharmacy magazine mentions that cases of hemolysis(destruction ofred blood cells).(5)
Interaction with other drugs
Finally, the possible interaction of paracetamol with other drugs should be taken into account, since this is another of the contraindications of this drug, due to the increased risk of causing hepatotoxicity or making it difficult to clear the liver.
Important: It is advisable to consult your doctor if you are taking other medications, since they can affect the function of these when consumed simultaneously, as well as increase the health risk by causing other symptoms.
Paracetamol Side Effects
Once the indications and contraindications that paracetamol has are known, the possible side effects that it may cause should also be mentioned , in order to be alert to the possible symptoms that appear, these being the following:
One of the main side effects that paracetamol can cause in people are skin allergies, where you can notice swelling in parts of the face and mouth, as well as hives or rashes on various areas of the skin.
Important: In the event of allergic skin reactions, a doctor should be consulted immediately, in order to determine the cause of these symptoms and discuss the possible suspension of paracetamol in the patient to avoid any risk.
Gastrointestinal discomfort can be reactions to the use of paracetamol, causing vomiting, reflux, abdominal pain or nausea. Although these symptoms are rare to suffer, it should be taken into account that the pain can become intense.
In case you present intense and unbearable abdominal pain, it is recommended to see your doctor to mention the discomfort that paracetamol can cause, and thus make a diagnosis and discuss the suspension of paracetamol.
It has been reported that paracetamol can cause jaundice as a side effect, which is described as yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes due to the increase in bilirubin that accumulates in the tissues.
Although this side effect may go away on its own, it is recommended to seek medical attention for evaluation, treatment, and possible discontinuation of acetaminophen, in order to avoid possible risks of other detrimental health symptoms.
- Paracetamol is a drug widely used by society and the medical community to relieve or eliminate body pain and fever states.
- There are presentations of 500, 650 and 1000 mg in the form of tablets and its recommended dose is every 6 hours.
- It is contraindicated in people with sensitivity to its components , anemia and liver conditions.
- In the same way, there are other contraindications for the use of paracetamol, these being lung diseases and kidney conditions that can cause other harmful symptoms.
- Acetaminophen Can cause side effects in people, such as skin allergies seen as hives or rashes on the skin, possible gastrointestinal upset, and jaundice.