Paracetamol is a mild pain killer and anti-pyretic (reduces temperature). The tablets are recommended for use in the short-term management of headaches, including migraine and tension headaches, backache, rheumatic and muscle pain, period pains, nerve pains, toothache and for relieving fever.

Why have I been prescribed Paracetamol?

Paracetamol is a mild pain killer and anti-pyretic (reduces temperature). The tablets are recommended for use in the short-term management of headaches, including migraine and tension headaches, backache, rheumatic and muscle pain, period pains, nerve pains, toothache and for relieving fever, aches and pains of colds and flu.

How does it work?

Exactly how paracetamol works is not known. Its effects are thought to be due to the inhibition of certain chemicals (prostaglandins) associated with pain and fever.

When and how do I take it?

Usually taken only as required with water and preferably with food.

What’s the dose?

  • Adults: 500-1000mg (1-2 tablets), 3 or 4 times a day. MAX dose is 2 tablets 4 times a day i.e 8 tablets in 24hours.
  • Children: A half to 1 tablet, 3 or 4 times a day. Max is 4 tablets in 24hours.

Could they interact with other tablets?

Paracetamol should not be taken with other products containing paracetamol.

  • Cholestyramine: The absorption of Paracetamol is reduced by cholestyramine. Therefore, the cholestyramine should not be taken within 1 hour if maximal analgesia is required
  • Warfarin: Potentiation of warfarin with continued high doses of Paracetamol
  • Chloramphenicol: Increased plasma concentration of chloramphenicol

Herbal supplements should be used with caution and only after informing your doctor first.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Side effects are rare but hypersensitivity, including skin rash may occur.

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

It is safe to drink moderate amounts of alcohol while taking paracetamol. However ask your doctor/pharmacist first as it may depend on what other tablets you are taking and alcohol may increase any adverse effects of the paracetamol.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

Current evidence says paracetamol is safe in pregnancy and breast feeding.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
 We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.

References:

Medicines.ie website- paracetamol SPC http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/3639/SPC/paracetamol +Tablets/

Medicines.ie- paracetamol  PIL http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/8293/PIL/paracetamol +Tablets/ 

 

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