Paracetamol: Uses & Side effects

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. The exact mechanism of it is not known.

Paracetamol is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fevers. It relieves pain in mild arthritis but has no effect on the underlying inflammation and swelling of the joint.

Important information

There are many brands and forms of paracetamol available.

Do not use more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of paracetamol can cause serious harm. The maximum amount of paracetamol for adults is 1 gram (1000 mg) per dose and 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. Taking more paracetamol could cause damage to your liver. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day, talk to your doctor before taking paracetamol and never use more than 2 grams (2000 mg) per day.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or pain medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Paracetamol is contained in many combination medicines. If you use certain products together you may accidentally use too much paracetamol . Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains paracetamol, acetaminophen or
advanced parallel array processor (APAP). Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage while taking paracetamol.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to paracetamol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • low fever with nausea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).


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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.