Paracetamol Side Effects

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Paracetamol is the generic name for Tylenol, and is primarily sold in Canada and European countries, though it can also be obtained in the United States. Paracetamol contains the drug known as acetaminophen and it is mild, and used for different purposes. Paracetamol is not known for carrying many side effects when the medication is taken as directed, though there are some rare and serious side effects that you should be aware of if you plan on taking it.

Usage

Paracetamol is most commonly used for pain relief and fever reduction. It primarily takes care of simple fevers, headaches, joint pain and other small aches and pains. Paracetamol, however, does not relieve the stiffness, redness and swelling that rheumatoid arthritis causes, but it has been known to relieve some of the pain associated. Paracetamol is sold over the counter and comes in a variety of forms, such as chewable tablets, capsules, suppositories, liquid, powder and pills. It can be used on any age range, from infants to adults, in different doses.

Rare Side Effects

Very few people develop side effects from usage of Paracetamol. However, as with any drug, they can occur, and should be watched for with anyone who takes it. The following side effects rarely occur, but should be reported to your physician if you notice any of them occurring after taking Paracetamol. A fever with chills or a sore throat not associated with prior illness can be a sign of an allergic reaction to Paracetamol. Sores, white spots in the mouth and lips, and oral ulcers are also another side effect that can occur. Skin rashes or hives have been noted as a more common side effect, and in some cases, unusual bleeding or bruising has also been reported. Weakness, tiredness and pain in the lower back or side that may be sharp or severe is another side effect that comes with intolerance to Paracetamol. If any of the aforementioned side effects are noticed, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible to determine if you should continue taking it.

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects of Paracetamol are even less common, but more severe than those previously mentioned. The most serious concern with Paracetamol is the effect is has on the liver, and therefore certain things must be attended to immediately. Yellow eyes or skin can be a sign that the liver is damaged due to the ingestion of Paracetamol, and this is most frequently seen with large doses or extended periods of use. Bloody urine and stools are also a side effect of Paracetamol and suggest irritation in the stomach. If any of these side effects occur, you should contact your physician immediately and seek care as quickly as possible, in order to counteract the reaction.

Precautions

While Paracetamol is a fairly mild drug with few side effects, there are some things that are more likely to make it intolerable in the body. Consuming alcohol while taking this drug is dangerous, as it puts additional strain on the liver. Paracetamol should only be used as directed by your physician and never taken for a longer period of time than suggested. Alert your doctor of any medications you are taking prior to starting on Paracetamol, as certain drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen have negative interactions with it, and may increase your likelihood of side effects.

Overdose

Overdosing on Paracetamol is rare, though it has been reported in a number of cases. If you or anyone you know is taking Paracetamol regularly, the following symptoms may be a sign of overdose. Severe diarrhea, increased sweating, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps or severe pain, or swelling, tenderness and pain in the upper abdomen could all be signs of a Paracetamol overdose and you should seek medical attention immediately.

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