Possible side effects linked to paracetamol – and what to do if you experience them

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While it’s helpful to know the warning signs signalling side effects of paracetamol, the NHS has said if you stick to the right dosage these occur rarely

Paracetamol can be taken in the form on tablets, capsules, syrup or as a dissolvable tab.
Paracetamol can be taken in the form on tablets, capsules, syrup or as a dissolvable tab.

Those who regularly reach for the box of paracetamol to keep an ache or pain at bay should be aware of what the warning signs of the possible side effects look like.

From reducing a fever to keeping that hangover at bay, the painkiller can be taken in the form on tablets, capsules, syrup or as a dissolvable tab.

It is also an ingredient of many other types of medication.

However, much like any other medicine, paracetamol has a list of possible side effects.

These warning signs can be a range of things, including something you might notice when using the loo.

According to the NHS, paracetamol “rarely” causes side effects if you stick to the right dosage
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Image:

WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

The NHS reports that paracetamol “rarely” causes side effects if you stick to the right dosage.

The usual recommended dose is one or two 500 milligram tablets taken up to four times in a 24-hour period, according to the health body.

However, like any drug, paracetamol also has possible side effects some people can experience, reports The Express.

One side effect, which warrants medical help and ceasing its use, is dark pee, as reported by Drugs.com .

Dark pee is associated with another side effect of the drug – jaundice.

Jaundice describes your skin and the whites of your eyes turning yellow.

The usual recommended dose is one or two 500 milligram tablets taken up to four times in a 24-hour period
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The health portal Patient.Info explains that jaundice can occur because of paracetamol poisoning.

This can cause acute liver failure, which may turn your skin and eyes yellow.

Jaundice is triggered by high blood levels of the bile pigment called bilirubin in your body. This bile can turn your pee dark.

Apart from dark urine, jaundice can also be spotted when you have a poo as it can colour your stool clay.

If you experience any symptoms linked to jaundice you need to get “urgent medical help”, the NHS warns.

Drugs.com also advises stopping taking paracetamol if you’re doing so.

However, jaundice and toilet signs are not common paracetamol side effects.

To see a full list of possible side effects, refer to the patient information leaflet that came with your medicine.

To avoid any unwanted problems caused by the drug, the NHS stresses the importance of sticking to the right dose.

Another “serious” side effect that can happen in some cases is an allergic reaction to the medicine.

The warning signs to spot include:

  • Skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin

  • Wheezing

  • Tightness in the chest or throat

  • Trouble breathing or talking

  • Swelling of mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

It’s important to go to A&E or call 999 if you experience symptoms like these.

It might be helpful to know the warning signs signalling side effects of paracetamol, but as the NHS explained if you stick to the right dosage these occur rarely.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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