Paracetamol (Level 3)

Written by Debbie

Description: An article about the medicine from the chemist ‘paracetamol’

Instructions: Read the article below and answer the questions or fill in the spaces

Paracetamol is an over the counter medication commonly used to treat pain, headache and fever. The alternative name for paracetamol is acetaminophen. It can also be administered in mild doses in children for relieving fever. In many cases, paracetamol is used in combination with other medicine for treating a common cold and stomach flu. Paracetamol can also be used for alleviating severe pain such as pain post-surgery and cancer pain. Again, in case of severe pain, paracetamol can be used in combination with other medications.

The mode of administration for paracetamol is mainly oral although it can be administered rectally in some cases or intravenously. Paracetamol is usually safe at the recommended dosage.
The half-life of paracetamol is about 1 to 4 hours. It rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The drug plasma concentration reaches its peak in 30-60 minutes. The gap between giving doses is at least four hours. Paracetamol can be administered both on an empty stomach or after having ingested food.

Paracetamol can be administered during pregnancy and in breastfeeding women, although this needs to be confirmed with your gynecologist. An overdose of paracetamol can cause serious side effects and it is best to check with the ideal dosage and regimen with your general practitioner.