Paracetamol is indicated for fever, common cold and influenza, headache, toothache, earache, bodyache, myalgia, neuralgia, dysmenorrhoea, sprains, colic pain, back pain, post-operative pain, postpartum pain, inflammatory pain and post vaccination pain in children. It is also indicated for rheumatic & osteoarthritic pain and stiffness of joints.
Paracetamol has analgesic and antipyretic properties with weak anti-inflammatory activity. Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) is thought to act primarily in the CNS, increasing the pain threshold by inhibiting both isoforms of cyclooxygenase, COX-1, COX-2, and COX-3 enzymes involved in prostaglandin (PG) synthesis. Paracetamol is a para aminophenol derivative, has analgesic and antipyretic properties with weak anti-inflammatory activity. Paracetamol is one of the most widely used, safest and fast acting analgesic. It is well tolerated and free from various side effects of aspirin.
Dosage & Administration
- Adult: 1-2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours up to a maximum of 4 gm (8 tablets) daily.
- Children (6-12 years): ½ to 1 tablet 3 to 4 times daily. For long term treatment it is wise not to exceed the dose beyond 2.6 gm/day.
- Adults & Children over 12 years: Two tablets, swallowed whole, every 6 to 8 hours (maximum of 6 tablets in any 24 hours).The tablet must not be crushed.
- Children under 3 months: 10 mg/kg body weight (reduce to 5 mg/kg if jaundiced) 3 to 4 times daily.
- 3 months to below 1 year: ½ to 1 teaspoonful 3 to 4 times daily.
- 1-5 years: 1 -2 teaspoonful 3 to 4 times daily.
- 6-12 years: 2-A teaspoonful 3 to 4 times daily.
- Adults: 4-8 teaspoonful 3 to 4 times daily.
- Children 3-12 months: 60-120 mg,4 times daily.
- Children 1-5 years: 125-250 mg 4 times daily.
- Children 6-12 years: 250-500 mg 4 times daily.
- Adults & children over 12 years: 0.5-1 gm 4 times daily.
- Children Upto 3 months: 0.5 ml (40 mg)
- 4 to 11 months: 1.0 ml (80 mg)
- 7 to 2 years: 1.5 ml (120 mg). Do not exceed more than 5 dose daily for a maximum of 5 days.
- Adults and children (aged 12 years and over): Take 1 to 2 Tablets every four to six hours as needed. Do not take more than 8 caplets in 24 hours.
- Children (7 to 11 years): Take ½-1 Tablet every four to six hours as needed. Do not take more than 4 caplets in 24 hours. Not recommended in children under 7 years.
Patients who have taken barbiturates, tricyclic antidepressants and alcohol may show diminished ability to metabolise large doses of Paracetamol. Alcohol can increase the hepatotoxicity of Paracetamol overdosage. Chronic ingestion of anticonvulsants or oral steroid contraceptives induce liver enzymes and may prevent attainment of therapeutic Paracetamol levels by increasing first-pass metabolism or clearance.
It is contraindicated in known hypersensitivity to Paracetamol.
Side effects of paracetamol are usually mild, though haematological reactions including thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, pancytopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis have been reported. Pancreatitis, skin rashes, and other allergic reactions occur occasionally.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy category B according to USFDA. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Paracetamol is excreted in breast milk. Maternal ingestion of paracetamol in normal therapeutic doses does not appear to present a risk to the nursing infant.
Precautions & Warnings
Paracetamol should be given with caution to patients with impaired kidney or liver function. Paracetamol should be given with care to patients taking other drugs that affect the liver.
Symptoms of Paracetamol overdose in the first 24 hours are pallor, nausea, vomiting, anorexia and abdominal pain. Liver damage may become apparent 12-48 hours after ingestion. Abnormalities of glucose metabolism and metabolic acidosis may occur.
Non opioid analgesics
Keep in a dry place away from light and heat. Keep out of the reach of children.