The science of paracetamol

Paracetamol exerts its analgesic and antipyretic effect primarily by inhibition of prostaglandins. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), it does not have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore has a different tolerability profile.1

Paracetamol chemical structure

Paracetamol basics

Globally, paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) is one of the most used analgesic and antipyretic over-the-counter drugs. Both its names are derived from its chemical name, which is N-acetyl-para-aminophenol.From the time of its first introduction in 1955 for use in children with fever and pain, paracetamol has been formulated as a single compound or as an active ingredient in combination with other drugs, such as caffeine.1,2

When paracetamol is taken as indicated, minimal serious side effects have been observed.16

  • Indications for paracetamol

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    Paracetamol is indicated for fever and pain relief in both adults and children. 1  Paracetamol may be used in patients that cannot be treated with NSAIDs, such as those with bronchial asthma, gastric ulcers, impairments in blood coagulation (e.g. haemophilia) and hypersensitivity to aspirin.1

    Paracetamol in combination with other active ingredients is also available, including with antihistamine and decongestants for cold and flu,3 and with caffeine for tough pain like migraine headache and period pain.3,4

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  • Recommended for mild-to-moderate pain

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    Paracetamol is a recommended drug in all three steps of pain management by the World Health Organization. It is in fact, the recommended drug of choice in patients with long standing (persistent) mild-to-moderate pain e.g. in osteoarthritis.1

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  • Recommended for specific pain conditions

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    Paracetamol is recommended for the treatment of a range of mild-to-moderate pain by recognised, international expert associations.8-15 Paracetamol is suitable for the temporary relief of pain and discomfort, including that associated with:5-7

    • headache, tension headache and migraine headache
    • cold & flu symptoms
    • muscular aches
    • period pain
    • toothache
    • persistent pain associated with osteoarthritis
    • reduces fever.

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  • Clears from the body within 24-hours*

    Graph showing the half life of paracetamol

    Clears from the body within 24-hours*

    Paracetamol has a short half-life of between 1 and 3 hours and approximately 85% of a dose of paracetamol is excreted in the urine within 24 hours after ingestion.6 This means that in most healthy adults, paracetamol is eliminated from the body within 24 hours after ingestion. Paracetamol may also be suitable for the elderly, as after multiple dosing (1000 mg three times daily) it did not accumulate in the body.16,17

Discover the Panadol range with paracetamol

Panadol with Optizorb pack shot

Panadol with Optizorb technology

Absorbed faster than standard Panadol tablets to provide pain relief.18,19¶

Panadol Rapid pack shot

Panadol Rapid for fast relief

Absorbed 2X faster than standard Panadol tablets, Panadol Rapid offers fast pain relief of acute pain.5,20†

Children’s Panadol pack shot

Effective children’s fever and pain relief,21-23 gentle on the stomach24,25*

Containing paracetamol, which can be used in children as young as 1 month of age,26-28 paracetamol in Children’s Panadol can start to reduce fever in 15 minutes.29,30‡

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Educational resources

Educational resources

Access detailed clinical information about Panadol.

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