Paracetamol (original brand name Panadol) is a popular over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication in Malaysia. Taken at the proper doses it is safe and effective for the relief of fever and mild-moderate pain.
Recently the FDA came out with this warning on drugs containing acetaminophen. Many might not be aware that acetaminophen is paracetamol. It is a timely warning that overdosage of paracetamol can cause liver damage.
The dosage recommendation for paracetamol is a maximum of 4g a day – which means if you are taking the 500mg tablets, you should not exceed 8 tablets a day (or 2 tablets 4 times a day).
The FDA warning is timely as some may not be aware of combination tablets which actually contain acetaminophen/paracetamol already and this might lead to accidental overdosage.
For accidental or intentional overdosage of paracetamol, thankfully there is an antidote but patients need to seek medical attention as quick as possible.
Always read the label for any OTC medication and follow the directions and recommended doses.
As always, if you are unsure of the proper dose of medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Here’s a video which warns you about Acetaminophen/Paracetamol overdose (Tylenol is a popular brand name for Acetaminophen in the USA just like Panadol is in Malaysia)