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    Information about Paracetamol/Acetaminophen

    Paracetamol/acetaminophen uses

    Paracetamol/Acetaminophen is used for pain relief and fever. It is used to relieve pain in conditions like headache, muscle pain, or dental pain.

    How paracetamol/acetaminophen works

    Paracetamol/Acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-pyretic (fever reducer). It works by blocking the release of certain chemical messengers that cause pain and fever.

    Common side effects of paracetamol/acetaminophen

    No common side effects seen
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    27 May 2019 | 05:17 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Paracetamol/Acetaminophen

    • ₹2 to ₹40
      Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      6 variant(s)
    • ₹14 to ₹268
      Micro Labs Ltd
      7 variant(s)
    • ₹10 to ₹190
      Alkem Laboratories Ltd
      9 variant(s)
    • ₹179 to ₹340
      Fresenius Kabi India Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹14 to ₹366
      Veritaz Healthcare Ltd
      7 variant(s)
    • ₹14 to ₹60
      GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
      8 variant(s)
    • ₹9 to ₹273
      East India Pharmaceutical Works Ltd
      8 variant(s)
    • ₹9 to ₹389
      5 variant(s)
    • ₹9 to ₹222
      Ipca Laboratories Ltd
      9 variant(s)
    • ₹9 to ₹40
      Mankind Pharma Ltd
      5 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Paracetamol/Acetaminophen

    • Good for pain relief and fever but not effective in joint pain due to poor anti-inflammatory action.
    • Starts working within one hour. Wait for at least 4 hours before taking the next dose.
    • Present in many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines. Avoid taking more than one paracetamol product at a time to prevent overdose. Doses >4 g/day (2 g in alcoholics) may cause liver, kidney or heart problems.
    • Discontinue Paracetamol/Acetaminophen and inform your doctor immediately if rash occurs.
    • For children, measure the doses of liquid Paracetamol/Acetaminophen using the measuring cup instead of a teaspoon to avoid under or over-dosage.
    • Avoid excess alcohol intake (>3 glasses/day) when taking Paracetamol/Acetaminophen as it may cause liver damage.

    Frequently asked questions for Paracetamol/Acetaminophen


    Q. How long does Paracetamol/Acetaminophen takes to work?

    Paracetamol/Acetaminophen takes around 30-45 min to start working and show its effects.

    Q. What if my child vomits after taking Paracetamol/Acetaminophen?

    If your child vomits in less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Paracetamol/Acetaminophen tablets or syrup, give him/her the same dose again. If your child vomits more than 30 minutes after a dose of tablets or syrup, you do not need to give him/her another dose, until the next normal dose.

    Q. When will my child feel better after taking Paracetamol/Acetaminophen?

    Usually your child will feel better after about half an hour of taking Paracetamol/Acetaminophen.

    Q. How often can I give Paracetamol/Acetaminophen to my child?

    You should only give four doses of Paracetamol/Acetaminophen in 24 hours. There should be a gap of at least 4 hours between two doses. Do not give Paracetamol/Acetaminophen for more than 3 days to your child without first talking to your doctor.

    Q. Can I give Paracetamol/Acetaminophen syrup to my child for cold?

    Paracetamol/Acetaminophen along with relieving fever also helps in controlling problems associated with cold such as headache and earache associated with cold. However, it does help relieve stuffy nose and cough for which doctor’s advice is required.

    Q. Does Paracetamol/Acetaminophen make babies sleepy?

    No, Paracetamol/Acetaminophen does not make babies sleepy, contrary to the common belief.

    Q. Is Paracetamol/Acetaminophen safe for children?

    If used as directed by the physician, Paracetamol/Acetaminophen is safe for children.

    Q. Is Paracetamol/Acetaminophen an antibiotic?

    No, Paracetamol/Acetaminophen is not an antibiotic. It works as a painkiller and as a medicine which brings down high fever.

    Q. Can I give my child Paracetamol/Acetaminophen and ibuprofen together?

    Ibuprofen and Paracetamol/Acetaminophen are safe painkillers which can be given to children, though both should not be used together. Instead, if you have given your child Paracetamol/Acetaminophen and still he/she is feverish or in pain you could try ibuprofen instead, when the next dose is due.

    Q. What are the serious side effects of taking excess Paracetamol/Acetaminophen?

    Potentially severe life-threatening liver injury is a serious side effect seen with an overdose of Paracetamol/Acetaminophen. Overdose can also cause kidney injury, coma, and decreased platelet count. Early symptoms of an overdose include nausea, vomiting, and general tiredness. Immediately consult a doctor or reach an emergency in case of suspected overdose.

    Content on this page was last updated on 27 May, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)