Paracetamol is the most popular pain-killer found in almost every household, it is easily the first-choice drug used to treat all sorts of human-body aches.
In 2015, The Health and Social Care Information Centre data revealed; paracetamol has been prescribed 22.9 million times in the England community sector, making it the 14th most popular prescribed drug. In comparison to anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol is portrayed as the safest pain-killer in the world.
Is paracetamol really safe? What is paracetamol? How does paracetamol work? What else don’t we know about paracetamol?
Fact One: Paracetamol is also known as acetaminophen and has been clinically used since 1893.
Fact Two: Following series of chemical sequencing acetanilide and phenacetin is metabolised to paracetamol as shown below.
Fact Three: No one knows how paracetamol truly works. Best theory is; it increases pain threshold in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
Fact Four: Paracetamol does not interact with other medication. UNLESS if taken with other paracetamol-containing drugs such as co-codamol which will then cause overdose.
Fact Five: Paracetamol can be administered to everyone; children, pregnant women, elderly. EXCEPT individuals with liver dysfunction.
Fact Six: Paracetamol overdose can be lethal. Ingesting high doses of paracetamol may cause severe liver damage.
Fact Seven: Paracetamol has various formulations; oral solution, soluble tablet, caplet, capsule, suppositories. NOTE people with high blood pressure should avoid the soluble tablet due to the salt content.
Yes if used correctly paracetamol could be the safest pain-killer.