Doctors Now Warn About The Use Of Paracetamol (Doliprane And Efferalgan)

Paracetamol is an analgesic and pain reliever, usually prescribed in case of headache, fever or dental pain. Some sufferers take it in the...

Paracetamol is an analgesic and pain reliever, usually prescribed in case of headache, fever or dental pain. Some sufferers take it in the form of self-medication, without a prescription.

However, prolonged use of this medicine at a high dose may be dangerous to your health or even fatal. Let's find out what studies are saying on this issue.

What is paracetamol?

Paracetamol is the best-known and best-selling painkiller worldwide, under several brands such as Doliprane or Efferalgan, among others. It is prescribed at any age, even in children and its action on pain is fast and prolonged.

It is the most consumed medicine; 84% of cases of paracetamol are delivered with prescription and 16% are on free sale. However, regular use of this medication at high doses is not without risk, which can lead to kidney and cardiovascular risks as well as toxicity to the liver. A UK study looked into this and found that this pain killer can be fatal by releasing a 63% mortality rate in patients who missed the recommended dosage and routes of administration.

The risks of toxicity of paracetamol

Daily intake of paracetamol carries a risk of heart disease, digestive bleeding as well as liver and kidney problems, not to mention the risk of death in case of overdose. According to Professor Jean-Paul Giroud, a clinical pharmacologist, paracetamol is a molecule treated by the liver that converts it into a toxic metabolite (N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine), which in case of overdose can destroy its cells.

In the same context, a study conducted by Scottish researchers and published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the overdose of paracetamol causes liver damage. In France, paracetamol remains the leading cause of liver transplantation, according to Le Figaro.

Moreover, a British study published by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, has shown that the disregard of the allowed dosage (3 grams per day), generates a high risk of toxicity. However, despite its danger, paracetamol remains the most effective drug with fewer side effects compared to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For his part, Professor Philippe Even recalls that all drugs have adverse effects in the long term and at large doses.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA), meanwhile, insists on the need to accompany the drug paracetamol, warnings, specifying its danger on health.

However, paracetamol and all painkillers should be taken at a low dose for a short period of time to avoid any risk of toxicity.

It is also important to avoid the combination of paracetamol with alcohol. Indeed, after excessive consumption of this drug, a day after waking, can be dangerous for the liver and develop acute liver failure.

Warning signs in case of paracetamol toxicity

Symptoms may occur after 24 hours of ingestion of the drug:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tired
  • Yellow complexion
  • migraines
  • Rashes

What to do in case of intoxication with this medicine?

The liver is the organ most affected by this toxicity, since paracetamol is metabolized in the liver and produces a toxic substance, excreted afterwards. In case of overdose, this substance remains in the body to create lesions in the liver.

The first emergency measure is to induce vomiting of the intoxicated person if conscious, then transfer to the nearest hospital.

In addition, if a person has a suspicion of paracetamol poisoning, it is essential that it be treated before the 10th hour after intoxication. Also, in case of excessive dosage, prompt hospitalization is required to perform a wash of the digestive system and establish a diagnosis of the risk of intoxication. An antidote may be administered depending on the severity of the case, either orally or intravenously, for a minimum of 21 hours to protect the liver from toxic effects.
Doctors Now Warn About The Use Of Paracetamol (Doliprane And Efferalgan)

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