Paracetamol, known also as Acetaminophen, has been in use as an analgesic for home medication for over 30 years. It is accepted as a very effective treatment for the relief of pain and fever in both adults and children.
Particular features of Paracetamol
Tylenol (its name in the U.S.) has analgesic, pain killer, and antipyretic (relieves fever) effects. Accordingly, such effects are remarkably comparable to those of Aspirin.
There are almost no groups of people who should not take it. It is appropriate for small children and adults as well. Patients sensitive to Aspirin could take Acetaminophen. It is well tolerated by patients with peptic ulcers.
■ Read: NSAIDs types, uses, contraindications, and their relation to ulcers
Paracetamol is the most widely accepted medicine. This medication is used mainly for its pain relief properties. It’s taken as either a medicine prescribed by a doctor, or an over the counter (otc) medicine.
Being an otc medication, it can be found in retail pharmacies and grocers shops. Its interactions with other medications are not those that make you panic. When taken at the recommended dosage, there will be no side effects.
Its pain relief and fever relief effects are similar to those of Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). Yet, it works in a similar, though not identical, way. Unlike with Aspirin, increasing the dose does not result in clinically useful anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore it’s not of value for reducing inflammation in chronic rheumatic diseases. However, the NSAIDs like Aspirin do.
Nevertheless, Acetaminophen is considered the first line treatment in osteoarthritis. As many of the cold and flu remedies, paracetamol can be combined with decongestant ingredients. The combination can overcome the symptoms of the common cold, influenza and sinusitis. They do so via tranquilizing headache, general aches, nasal congestion, and fever.
■ Prostaglandins and inflammation: the synthesis, effects, and functions
■ Ibuprofen, the painkiller NSAID, its uses and side effects.
■ Diclofenac: one of the powerful NSAIDs commonly used
Paracetamol and its combinations are mainly available as tablets. Other preparations are for dissolving in water before consumption. It suits all age groups. The very young could take it after immunization procedures. Also, it’s available in liquid formulations as suspensions, or syrups for young children.
Cold and flu remedies are many and for each of them there are pros and cons. They all have good effects in diminishing and preventing lots of undesired symptoms. At the same time be sure not to overuse any of them. They do also have adverse effects especially for prolonged use !