What is paracetamol?

Paracetamol is a widely used medication for treating pain and lowering high body temperature or fever. The medication is utilized to alleviate mild or moderate pain such as due to toothache, headache or sprains as well as reduce fever brought about by various conditions such as the flu or common cold.

This medication is often used as one of the initial treatments for pain since it is safe for most to use and the side effects are rare.

What are the types of paracetamol?

Paracetamol is available in different types while some are only available by prescription. The medication is available as:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Liquid (for children)
  • Suppositories
  • Soluble tablets
  • Injection administered into a vein
    Paracetamol

    The amount to be used depends on the age, weight and type of paracetamol being used and its strength.

There are some products such as flu or cold remedies or certain combination pain medications where paracetamol is added.

Who can use paracetamol?

Many individuals can use the drug safely including the following:

  • Breastfeeding women
  • Pregnant women
  • Children over 2 months of age

If uncertain on whether paracetamol can be used, carefully check the leaflet that comes with the medication or ask a doctor for advice. In case an individual had an allergic reaction to the medication in the past, it must be avoided.

How to use the drug

Paracetamol must be used as directed on the leaflet or label or as instructed by the doctor.

The amount to be used depends on the age, weight and type of paracetamol being used and its strength. Paracetamol is expected to work within an hour and the effect typically lasts for several hours. It is not advisable to use more than the recommended dosage if it does not relieve the symptoms.

Adults can take ibuprofen at the same time if needed, but it is not recommended for children. A doctor should be consulted if the symptoms worsen or persists longer than 3 days despite using paracetamol.

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