Paracetamol - pain relief
On WHO Model List of Essential Medicines : YES
Alternative names: Tylenol, Calpol, Panadol, acetaminophen
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is is a widely used over-the-counter pain medication and medication to reduce fever. The exact mechanism of action is still unknown.
Paracetamol is used to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, fevers and is a major ingredient in many cold medications. Although paracetamol is used to treat inflammatory pain it exhibits only weak anti-inflammatory activity. It relieves pain in mild arthritis but has no effect on the underlying inflammation and swelling of the joint.
While generally safe for use at recommended doses, even small overdoses can be fatal. Compared to other over-the-counter pain relievers, paracetamol is significantly more toxic in overdose but may be less toxic when used chronically at recommended doses. Paracetamol is classified as a mild analgesic.