What is Panadol?
Panadol is a painkiller that is commonly used by people. It is often taken to treat fever, muscular aches, headaches, etc. Panadol is also a weak anti-inflammatory agent, and thus offers treatment for a slightly wider range of ailments. It works by stopping the production of chemicals that lead to pain in the body. It is one of the most used over-the-counter (medication that does not require a prescription) drugs.
The salient chemical that gives Panadol its characteristic properties is Paracetamol.
GSK –Glaxosmith Kline—is the manufacturer of Panadol and its various forms, in Pakistan.
What are the Available Forms of Panadol in Pakistan?
Panadol is available in extensive forms. These include:
- Drops for children
- Extended-release caplets
- Gel capsules and tablets
- Oral disintegrating tablets
Panadol Dosage and Strength:
Panadol is available in different dosages and strengths. These include:
- Tablets-325mg and 500mg
- Suppositories-125mg, 250mg and 500mg
- Caplets-325mg, 500mg and 650mg
- Extended-release caplets-650mg
- Gel capsules and tablets-500mg
The dosage of paracetamol is contingent on the age. Infants are recommended a total of 75mg/kg/day, which is to be administered between intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
For children, the suggested dosage is 75mg/kg/day, which is to be given after every 4 to 6 hours. The total, however, should not exceed 1g/dose.
In adults, the recommendation is 650mg at intervals of 4-6 hours. The dosage for one day should be capped at 3.25g to 4g.
How to take Panadol?
Panadol can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. However, it is suggested that people take it with food. Since it does not cause or aggravate preexisting cases of gastritis, Panadol is considered a safe painkiller for people with gastric issues.
What are the Uses of Panadol?
Panadol is used for various conditions, including:
- Pain due to arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Menstrual cramps
- Joint pain
- Pain associated with gout
- Muscle spasm
- To get rid of mild to moderate fever.
- Bone pain
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Pain associated with fractures
- Back pain
- Pain due to frozen shoulder
- Neck pain
What are the side effects of Panadol?
Most often, Panadol is safe to use and received well by the body. However, the following symptoms are associated with its intake:
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased white blood cells
- Decreased red blood cells
- Decreased platelets
What are the risks and warnings for Panadol?
Allergic to Paracetamol
People who are allergic to Paracetamol should not take Panadol. A mild reaction in the form of rash, wheezing etc. can occur, and the reaction can be as grave as anaphylaxis.
In an anaphylactic shock, the blood pressure drops, the throat and tongue start to swell, breathing becomes hard, skin gets rashes, nausea and vomiting ensue. People also get disoriented and get unconscious. If timely medical aid is not given, there can be serious consequences.
Panadol can cause liver failure or aggravate it, especially when the tablets are used in greater dosages. Thus, those with complaints of liver disease should consult with their doctor before using Panadol.
Some people can have Steven Johnson syndrome, which is a type of skin reaction that can occur in the aftermath of Panadol consumption. If you have experienced this before, talk to your health care provider for an alternative.
Alcohol and Panadol both affect the liver. When taken in conjunction, these have a compound effect on the liver. Thus, if you drink more than 3 glasses of alcohol a day, you should take Panadol with caution to prevent liver damage.
Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
Patients who have glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency must take Panadol with extreme caution, as it can cause hemolysis.
Those people who suffer from long-term malnutrition should not take Panadol casually, but instead, with caution.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant and lactating women should take painkillers at the discretion of their healthcare provider, as their drug intake has direct implications for their baby.
Patients suffering from fluid loss and dehydration should be administered paracetamol IV with caution.
Asthmatic patients are advised to be careful with their consumption of Panadol.
Interactions between Panadol and other medications:
Panadol too can interact with other drugs. A drug interaction certainly does not mean that you stop taking medicines on your own, but instead seek the advice of your healthcare provider.
Following drugs can interact with Panadol:
- Dapsone topical
- Exenatide injectable solution and suspension
To avoid the dangers or problems that result from drug interactions, you must give a detailed medical history to your health care provider, including any preexisting conditions or diseases, any medicines that you may be taking, whether or not you are pregnant or are nursing your baby, etc.
What is the price of Panadol in Pakistan?
The price of Panadol, 500mg (as per data from the year 2022) is Rs. 1.43 per tablet.
As for the syrup, one bottle costs around Rs. 65 (as per data from the year 2022)
- Panadol should be kept out of reach and sight of children.
- It should be stored at room temperature.
- Do not use the medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Suppositories of Panadol should be kept in a refrigerator, as they will melt otherwise. One has to take them in the hand and melt them from body heat before inserting them.
How to get Panadol in Pakistan?
Panadol is OTC and therefore it can be purchased from a pharmacy or medical store without a prescription.
What medicines are available as alternatives to Panadol in Pakistan?
Alternatives to Panadol include:
Panadol can be termed as a staple in many homes in Pakistan and is often found in numerous first aid kits. As a painkiller, it is used to treat various miscellaneous and specific aches in the body.
However, being a drug, it should always be taken with consideration and caution. Drug abuse, even of an OTC like Panadol, can result in unwanted side effects. If your pain is not getting better, rather than further loading up on Panadol, it is advised that you visit a good doctor to get to the bottom of the underlying problem.
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