For information on COVID-19, please visit the National Coronavirus website. Approved by the South African Government.
For information on COVID-19, please visit the National Coronavirus website. Approved by the South African Government.

Health Guide: Learn a little bit more about paracetamol

With over 150 years of clinical experience, paracetamol is one of the most common and most popular medications for the relief of pain and fever worldwide.1a,2c

Paracetamol for Pain

Pain can often be described as an unpleasant sensation indicating possible or actual injury. It can be perceived as mild, severe or intolerable and presents in many different ways (e.g. throbbing, sharp, dull, local or wide-spread pain). Pain can impact a person’s quality of life by affecting their daily functionality as well as disturbing sleep patterns, appetite and overall well-being. Pain can also be described as acute (occurs suddenly and usually doesn’t last long) or chronic (lasting for many months or years).2d

Paracetamol is best known to be effective in curbing pain, which is the most common reason for people visiting the doctor.2d

Paracetamol for Fever

Fever is a common symptom in childhood and a frequent reason for parents to contact their doctor.3a Fever is accompanied by a lot of discomfort, however a fever is not always bad and the rise in body temperature is believed to assist the body’s immune system to fight against an infection.3b

Paracetamol is an effective and popular option when it comes to managing fever, especially in children. 1a,2b

What are the benefits of paracetamol?

  • Preferred in patients who:1c
    • Have gastric ulcers
    • Have an allergy to aspirin
    • Have blood clotting issues
    • Are children with fever accompanying a disease
  • Known to have less side-effects on the digestive tract compared to NSAIDs2b

Paracetamol is available in many different forms

Paracetamol is available as:1d,2e

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Effervescent tablets
  • Children’s syrups
  • Suspensions

It is very important to follow the dosing instructions of paracetamol correctly to avoid possible overdosing.

The dose of paracetamol given to a child requires special care, and differs significantly from the usual adults dose.1c

For more information, refer to your healthcare provider.

References:

  1. Jóźwiak-Bebenista M, Nowak JZ. Paracetamol: mechanism of action, applications and safety concern. Acta Pol Pharm. Jan-Feb 2014;71(1):11-23.
  2. 150 years of paracetamol. GP Pharma Update Mar/Apr 2019.
  3. Jensen JF, Lindhardt Tønnesen L, Söderström M, et al. Paracetamol for feverish children: parental motives and experiences. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2010; 28(2): 115–120. doi: 10.3109/02813432.2010.487346.

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