The Paracetamol acts on the nervous system by altering the perception of pain by the body primarily through the action of receptors by serotonin , the opioids and cannabinoids . Hence, it is an analgesic , i.e. a pain inhibitor. It is an antipyretic because it inhibits the synthesis of the molecules responsible for inflammatory processes (prostaglandins), and therefore lowers body temperature .
What is Paracetamol used for?
Paracetamol is used to counteract mild to moderate pain associated with headache , muscle discomfort, menstrual cycle, cooling syndromes, sore throat, toothache, back pain, osteoarthritis and reactions to vaccinations. Its frequent use is to lower the fever .
It can also be used to reduce migraine pain if it is taken in combination with aspirin and caffeine .
How is Paracetamol taken?
Paracetamol can be taken in the form of tablets, chewable tablets, capsules, suspensions, solutions, prolonged-release tablets or tablets that dissolve in the mouth, then orally . It is also possible to take it rectally, in the form of suppositories.
Side effects of Paracetamol
Taking too much Paracetamol can damage the liver.
A doctor should be contacted immediately if taking the drug is associated with:
- redness of the skin, exfoliation or blistering
- difficulty swallowing
- breathing difficulties
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips , eyes, hands, feet, ankles or calves
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Paracetamol
Before administering Paracetamol to pediatric patients, it is advisable to check that the medicine available is suitable for pediatric use . It is always a good practice, regardless of this, to seek advice from your doctor , and it is essential to avoid giving Paracetamol to children with headache, rash, nausea or vomiting or severe sore throat associated with vomiting. These symptoms may signal a problem that requires different types of treatment.
To use Paracetamol safely is essential :
- do not take several Paracetamol-based products at the same time;
- follow the dosage indicated on the package insert or by the doctor and never exceed 4,000 mg per day;
- do not exceed 2 doses of alcohol per day.
Your doctor should always be informed in case of:
- liver problems (also in the past);
- phenylketonuria ;
- allergies to the active substance, its excipients or other drugs;
- taking other medicines, herbal medicines or supplements at the same time, remembering to mention anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, antipyretics, medicines for coughs and colds and phenothiazines;
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding .