Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the world’s most famous and widely used pain killer. It comes under various names such as Panadol, Tylenol, etc. This is an over the counter (OTC) treatment for mild pains and short-term fever. However, the scientists are worried about the increased cases of paracetamol poisoning, after many of the users have reportedly overdosed it.
Not just in the United States, paracetamol poisoning cases have increased all over the world. Some of the health experts believe it is because of the high-dose paracetamol tablets available freely.
It doesn’t only include the self-medication cases but also those where certified physicians recommend using a high-dose paracetamol pill.
A study from the Swiss scientists provides a deeper insight into these paracetamol poisoning cases. According to this study, the easy availability of a high dosage of paracetamol is responsible for paracetamol overdosing. Although it is not lethal and can be treated still, it can leave long term damaging effects on health.
Although 500mg of paracetamol is the commonly available variant some countries also sell 1000mg pills which show a dangerously high strength. The demand for this 1000 mg paracetamol is much higher than its lower variants suggesting people tend to buy the higher strength pills, hoping for faster relief.
Most of the cases of high dosage paracetamol pills are unintentional which shows the hope that this situation is avoidable. Another problem with this pain killer is that it doesn’t work on all types of pains or it doesn’t work on every person the same way.
In that case, the person is most likely to use a higher dose which often heals the symptoms. But using the higher dose every time leads to paracetamol poisoning which is the real problem of using these high strength variants.
Surprisingly, most people don’t know the risks of using 1000 mg paracetamol multiple times a day. They don’t know the safe limit for adult dosage which is why, back in 2007, the U.S Food and Drug Authority (FDA) added a limit to the daily paracetamol dosage to 325mg. it also instructed all pharma companies to add warnings on paracetamol packs explaining how excessive usage of this medicine can damage the liver.
On the other side, many countries report a high demand for high dose paracetamol pills. It clearly shows that the availability of higher strength medicine is responsible for the poisoning cases.
But this demand for 1000 mg pills doesn’t mean that the popularity of 500mg pills is fading. It is just that these 1000 mg paracetamol is preferred by a different class of people mostly those who are searching for a safer alternative to opioids and other dangerous narcotics.
These reports are worrisome considering the effectiveness of paracetamol especially towards special types of pain. people expect this medicine to ease all types of pain which is impossible. But not experiencing the results can frustrate them eventually making them take a higher dosage or overdosing the standard paracetamol pills and putting their health at risk.