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Active Ingredients

[ Paracetamol also known as Acetaminophen]


What is Paracetamol?

Its the active ingredient in many brands you see in the pharmacies or shops such as Panadol, Panamax, Paralgin, Black & Gold Paracetamol, Chemists' Own Paracetamol.


What is Paracetamol used for? Its to help relieve mild to moderate pain and fever (higher than 38.5 degrees Celsius) in adults and children. 

How can you take it?

Its available in liquids, tablets and suppositories.

For Adults: 1-2 tablets of 500mg paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours when needed for pain or fever. But no more than 8 tablets total a day.

For  Children 7-12 years old, 0.5 to 1 tablet every 4 to 6 hours when needed for pain or fever but no more than 4 tablets total a day.

For children under 7, tablets not recommended but they can use liquid like Children's Panadol or Panamax Elixir. It can be given in water. But babies under 1 month old can't take them.

1) 1-2 years old and weigh 10-12kgs, 6-8mls by measuring syringe or dropper every 4-6 hours if necessary.

2) 2-4 years and weigh 12-16kgs, 8-10mls every 4-6 hours if necessary.

3) 4-6 years and weigh 16-20kg, 10-13mls every 4-6 hours if necessary.

4) 6-8 years and weigh 20-25kg, 13-16mls every 4-6 hours if necessary.

5) 8-10 years and weigh 25-32kg, 16-20mls every 4-6 hours if necessary.

6) 10-12 years and weigh 32-41kg, 20-26mls every 4-6 hours if necessary. 

For Babies:

1) 1-3 months old and weigh between 4-6 kg they can have 2-4mls by measuring syringe or dropper every 4 to 6 hours if necessary.

2) 3-6 months old and weigh 6-8kg they can have 4-5mls every 4-6 hours if necessary. 

3) 6-12 months old and weigh 8-10kg they can have 5-6mls every 4-6 hours if necessary.

Who should not be taking Paracetamol?

- Babies under 1 month old

- If you are allergic to Paracetamol

- If you have severe liver and kidney problems


Can women who is pregnant or breastfeeding take Paracetamol? Yes if they take it at the recommended doses of no more than 1-2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours. Maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours. (Total of 4 grams)

Can I take Paracetamol if I'm taking other medicines?

Some medicines can affect or be affected by Paracetamol:

- Warfarin (brand names are Coumadin and Marevan) which is used to prevent blood clots. If you are on warfarin and you take more than total of 7 tablets of 500mg a week (which is total of 3.5 grams) this can affect your warfarin medicine to work properly in preventing blood clotting. So you need to talk to your doctor and let them know that you are also taking Paracetamol so they can tell you the right dose of warfarin you should take. 

- some medicines for epilepsy eg. Carbamazepine (brand names is Teril and Tegretol) and Phenytoin (brand name is Dilantin). 

- metoclopramide used for nausea and vomiting (brand name is Maxolon and Pramin).

- Alcohol especially in large quantities.

- Chloramphenicol used as an antibiotic for ear and eye infections

- Zidovudine and Rifampicin used to treat infections.

Are there any side effects from taking Paracetamol?

Yes but its rare and not very common if you take it correctly. Adults must not take more than 8 tablets of 500mg total in a 24 hour period. 

But if you experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion and sweating and you ar worried then tell your doctor or pharmacist. But its nothing to worry about as they are mostly minor and only last short time.

However if you experience an allergy reaction to paracetamol like having trouble breathing, rash and itching on skin, swelling of your face or lips or tongue or on other parts of your body then you must see the doctor or go to the hospital straightaway as they ar serious side effects but they are rare.

Sometimes other people experience side effects not mentioned.


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