Paracetamol is a mild to moderate pain reliever.

Pronunciation: par-RA-cet-a-MOL

What are paracetamol’s uses?

Paracetamol is used to treat mild to moderate pain as an alternative to aspirin. Other benefits include reducing fever and the symptomatic relief of colds.

It relieves pain in mild arthritis but has no effect on the inflammation and swelling of the joint.

What dosage should you take?

The recommended dose for adults is 1g (1000mg) per dose and 4g (4000mg) per day.

Paracetamol comes in the form of tablets and syrup.

However, first check the correct dosages with your Clicks pharmacist.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Do not to exceed the maximum dose.
  • It is not known whether paracetamol will harm an unborn baby. During pregnancy, tell your doctor or Clicks pharmacist before using paracetamol.
  • Do not use paracetamol without telling your doctor or Clicks pharmacist if you are breast-feeding a baby.
  • Consult about its use with your doctor if you have an eating disorder, cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, or cachexia (loss of weight and muscle caused by diseases such as cancer, AIDs, etc).

Paracetamol should be avoided if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • An allergy or are sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in paracetamol
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Taking another medication containing paracetamol
  • If taking a blood thinner (e.g. warfarin)
  • Children under six, unless taken with supervision

Paracetamol should be used with caution if you suffer from alcoholism.

What drug interactions could you experience?

As a rule, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take to ensure you don’t suffer the effects of adverse drug interactions.

What are paracetamol’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Confusion

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or the ambulance immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain, tenderness
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the whites of eyes
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in August 2015