What Should You Know about Paracetomol

Paracetomol (and Tylenol) (acetaminophen) is widely used and generally available analgesic as well as being effective for reducing fever as well. For this reason, it is widely used as a treatment for headaches, fever and other minor aches and pains.

Paracetamol is technically known as an aniline analgesic and is the only one still widely used for the treatment of pain, because all other similar analgesics were withdrawn as they were believed to exhibit carcinogenic qualities (which so far, paracetamol does not). However, the fact that it is made from coal tar may give you a reason to question this as carbon is often believed to have carcinogenic qualities as well.

In normal doses, one of the advantages of paracetamol is that it does not irritate the stomach lining or affect blood coagulation in the same way that NSAID’s like aspirin do.

However, higher than recommended usage has been seen to have a potential connection with gastrointestinal bleeding and very high dosages have the capacity to cause liver damage, which in the most severe cases can be fatal. Indeed, paracetamol or tylenol poisoning is the number one cause of acute liver failure in most Western countries and the way that most people choose to commit suicide in these countries as well.

Furthermore, a massive study conducted in 31 countries and involving over 200,000 children in 2008 and reported in the leading medical journal ‘The Lancet’ found that the use of paracetamol in the first year of life made children far more likely to develop asthmatic symptoms at around age six or seven. In addition, children who took paracetamol during the first year of life and also children who took the drug at ages 6-7 demonstrated a far higher likelihood of developing eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis later too.

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