The Negative Effects Of Taking Paracetamol
What is Paracetamol?
Paracetamol is a drug that relieves pains and eases fever.
Over time, this drug has been used by many to treat headache, fever, cold, toothache, and pains such as back pain, waist pain, hand pain, etc.
It relieves joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It is used for multiple purposes some of which are not mentioned above.
If you have a headache after taking too much alcohol, you have back pain from a stressful day, your injury pain comes up again, what do you do? The first thing that comes to your mind before going to the hospital or seeks medical attention is to take a dose of paracetamol.
Paracetamol is a workhorse- a drug that does a lot of work.
As of 2013, about 200 million packets were sold yearly and they were 22.3 million prescriptions for it. It is generally known as effective, safe, and cheap.
Some of the negative effects of Paracetamol
The effect of paracetamol varies among individuals. It may work effectively for some individuals with little or no side effects. While to some it is very harmful to their health. It, therefore, makes sense for patients to work with medical professionals to know what works best for them.
Research by Moore and colleagues showed that paracetamol is a pain relief drug. It is also helpful to those with back pain, menstrual pain, etc while it makes some people feel a slight headache as a side effect.
There is a wild spread belief that the drugs are cheap, safe, and effective if taken according to prescription and at the recommended dose.
Yes, the drug is cheap but is it safe and effective?
Scientists have questioned if the drug is mild, safe, and effective. According to them taking it for a prolonged period can have serious side effects. From recent research, it is found that the drug does not work or has a very small effect on some people.
Massive attention was drawn to paracetamol during the 1960s because of fears that other anti-inflammatory drugs can cause bleeding, ulcer, and another serious side effect.
Although as at then, some concerns were raised that long term use of paracetamol can cause internal bleeding because there was no evidence it was missed and waved off for many years.
Professor Michael Doherty published a study of 900 patients who died at age 40 and above after taking paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve serious leg pain. After 3 months some of the patients who took ibuprofen lost a unit of blood through internal bleeding. It was surprising to know that same happened to the patients who took paracetamol.
According to Dr. John Dickson, he said: “paracetamol can be a very dangerous drug” according to him, the drug can cause kidney problems, gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver problems.
The food and drugs administration (FDA) gave warnings in 2013 informing the public that paracetamol can cause fatal skin disease known as Steven Johnson Syndrome.
The maximum dose for one day is 4 g, as little as 2 g intake of paracetamol can cause liver problems. The drug can be taken overdose without knowing by taking a different drug containing paracetamol at the same time. For instance, a person who takes paracetamol to relieve headache and took lemsip to reduce cold have taken paracetamol twice which is overdose unknowingly.
The normal dose of paracetamol was reduced by FDA to 325 mg tablets to reduce the risk of overdose.
In 2013 doctors in the U.K are advised not to prescribe paracetamol to patients as a higher dose can lead to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and rental problems. Doctors refused to yield to this advice on the ground that if they don’t prescribe paracetamol it means the patient will have to endure their pains or take other strong drugs that may be more harmful such as Tramadol.
Naturally, everything that has a good side also has a bad side the same happens to the drugs we take this is why before taking any drug we should always see the doctor for a prescription.
It has been confirmed that the reason for prescribing prolong use of paracetamol to millions of patients no longer makes sense because of the adverse effect it has on them.
Taking paracetamol should not become a habit. “When you feel any slight pain you take paracetamol” It is not supposed to be so. People should take paracetamol when it is being prescribed for them to take.
People should also consider other means to manage pain such as taking a cold bath and doing exercise regularly.
Although it is not easy because it is a cultural problem.
According to Moore within the next five years, doctors will no longer be prescribing paracetamol for chronic pain relief.
What should be known before taking Paracetamol
Although the drug is taken to treat several ailments, it should not be taken by some people.
- Those allergic to the drug (paracetamol)
- Those with liver issues or problems
Pregnant women are advised to get a prescription from a doctor before taking paracetamol as it has not yet been proven if paracetamol can cause harm to the unborn baby because the drug can pass through breast milk to harm a nursing baby but it has not yet been proven if it can cause harm to an unborn baby through the pregnant mother taking it.
What happens if the drug is taking overdose?
Since the drug has multiple uses, many people tend to abuse it and take it when they feel any slight pain. Some even take an overdose to prevent the re-occurrence of such pain unknowingly to them that they are causing more harm than good to themselves.
Some of the effects of overdose are:
- Stomach pain
- Whitening of the eyes
- Loss of appetite etc.
Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have any of these symptoms after taking paracetamol.
The Negative Effects Of Taking Paracetamol