Paracetamol how it is used and what it is for

The paracetamol is a drug used as an analgesic (pain reliever) and as an antipyretic (to reduce fever). Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is often called Tachipirina, as this is its most widespread trade name: however, it should not be forgotten that there are numerous other trade names, such as Efferalgan, Acetamol, Codamol and many others.

Paracetamol or acetaminophen (chemical name N-acetyl-para-aminophenol) is the active metabolite of phenacetin.
Paracetamol increases the threshold to painful stimuli, exerting an analgesic effect against pain of different causes and etiology.

It is available without a prescription and is used as a common self-prescription pain reliever (although reimbursement of 1000 mg acetaminophen is possible if certain conditions exist and when prescribed by prescription). The drug is available in fixed dose combinations with analgesics narcotics and non-narcotics (including aspirin and other salicylates, barbiturates, caffeine) in preparations for vascular migraine, for insomnia, for toothache, antihistamines, antitussives, decongestants, expectorants, in preparations for colds and flu and in treatments for sore throats.

The most used dosages of paracetamol in single preparation are 500 mg and 1000 mg. Paracetamol represents a valid alternative to aspirin and other anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (momnet, Brufen, Nurofen), ketoprofen (Oki, Ketodolo, Arthrosilene, Fastum Gel), naproxen (Naprosyl, Momendol, Naproxene), nimesulide (Algimesil, Aulin, Ledoren), diclofenac (Voltaren, Dicloreum) as an analgesic-antipyretic compound; however, its anti-inflammatory effects are very low when compared with pure anti-inflammatories.

In fact, although paracetamol is indicated in the treatment of pain in patients with non-inflammatory osteoarthritis, it does not represent an adequate substitute for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NotSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, NSAIDs) in chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Paracetamol is well tolerated and is associated with a low incidence of gastrointestinal side effects, which instead affects all other anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause gastritis and gastric or duodenal ulcers.

However, an acute overdose of Tachipirina can cause severe liver damage and cases of accidental or deliberate intoxication are continuously increasing, especially for those with chronic painful conditions and who take more than 3-4 g of paracetamol for several consecutive days. Chronic use of less than 2 g / day has not been shown to be associated with hepatic dysfunction.

Paracetamol how it is used and what it is for

What are the therapeutic uses of paracetamol?

Paracetamol can be used as an antipyretic or analgesic; is the first-line analgesic in osteoarthritis and is particularly important in patients in whom aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, ketoprofen, nimesulide, indomethacin, ketorolak, diclofenak are contraindicated (e.g., those with gastritis, ulcer gastric or duodenal peptic, hypersensitivity to aspirin or children with febrile diseases).

The paracetamol is used in all chronic painful pathologies such as:

  • osteoarthritis chronic, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia, polymyositis, psoriatic arthritis
  • osteoarthritis, a disabling pathology that characterizes the joints of adults or the elderly
  • tumor pathologies with bone or visceral involvement

Paracetamol it is not an anti-inflammatory, or rather it has an activity anti-inflammatory as well reduced to be considered null. It seems to have a more pronounced anti-inflammatory activity at the level of the brain and of the brainstem, and this could explain its very effective action as an antipyretic, against fever: the temperature is in fact regulated by a dedicated center which is located in the brain and precisely in the hypothalamus.



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