Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

PARACETAMOL (ANADIN PARACETAMOL)

Brand Name(s) : Anadin Paracetamol, Panadol, Disprol, Calpol, Medinol, Alvedon, Perfalgan, Panadeine in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Paracodol in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Codipar in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Medocodene in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Zapain in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Kapake in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Solpadol in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Tylex in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Feminax in combination with codeine phosphate (co-codamol), Paramol in combination with dihydrocodeine tartrate (co-dydramol), Remedeine in combination with dihydrocodeine tartrate (co-dydramol)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

PARACETAMOL WARNINGS

Paracetamol should be used with caution in: those with liver or kidney problems (including alcoholicliver disease), children, and in those who are deficient in the enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (commonest in peoples from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Southern Europe).

It should not be used in: people taking another medication containing paracetamol or people taking medicines to thin the blood (e.g. warfarin).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C

PARACETAMOL USES

Paracetamol is used to treat a number of problems.

It is a weak painkiller, whose mode of action is not exactly understood. It is sometimes called acetaminophen.

In general, this drug is used as required to relieve minor aches and pains and to reduce fever, and so is used for the relief of headaches, migraine, toothache, period pains, pain associated with rheumatism and symptoms associated with colds or influenza.

Benefits of taking this drug can include relief from pain and reduction of fever.

Listed below are the typical uses of paracetamol:

  • Taken as required for relief of mild-to-moderate pain or fever.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication (tablets) by mouth with a glass of water (dispersible tablets should first be dissolved in water) as required to relieve pain or fever. Paracetamol is also available as a suppository which should be taken rectally, an oral suspension and in the form of injection into veins (intravenous or IV use).
  • Use this med+ication for the duration of prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some hours before the full benefit of this drug takes effect, depending on the dose given and the severity of the condition.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid alcohol. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • This medicine should be taken as required or as prescribed by your doctor.

PARACETAMOL SIDE EFFECTS

Rarely:

  • Hypersensitivity reaction (rashes and shortness of breath).

Very rarely:

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

PARACETAMOL PRECAUTIONS

Before taking paracetamol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: liver or kidney disease (including alcoholic liver disease).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: if you regularly drink more than the recommended level of alcohol, 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), and if are taking any other products that contain paracetamol.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Yes. Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Paracetamol is suitable to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Paracetamol is suitable to take if you are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

PARACETAMOL INTERACTIONS

Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with paracetamol:

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.

PARACETAMOL OVERDOSE

Overdose of paracetamol can cause severe liver damage which may not be apparent for 4-6 days. Feeling sick (nausea) and vomiting are frequently the only early signs of overdose and these symptoms often settle down after about 24 hours. Thereafter, abdominal pain and tenderness may occur, as may renal failure, brain damage and death. Despite a lack of significant early symptoms, patients should be referred to hospital urgently for immediate medical attention.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of paracetamol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
boost your metabolism
Foods to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
sick child
Dos and don'ts for childhood eczema
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know