While paracetamol is one of the safest painkillers out there, the popular medication can also trigger a slew of side effects, just like any other medicine. What’s worse, one sign, that crops up when you go for number two, could signal it’s time to stop using the go-to pain relief. An expert shares how to spot it.
Whether you use it to target a stubborn headache or to relieve various aches and pains, paracetamol is the painkiller of choice for many.
Fortunately, the popular pain relief “rarely” causes side effects as long as you stick to the correct dose, according to the NHS.
Furthermore, many take paracetamol without thinking twice about its unwanted effects but like any other medicine, paracetamol comes with a list of possible side effects.
One of the more serious problems is known as melena – black tarry stools.
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Monika Wassermann, Medical Director, said: “Paracetamol is a good source of acetaminophen, a compound metabolised by the liver into N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine(NAPQI).
“When you double or triple your paracetamol dose, the production of this toxin will increase.
“Due to this, your liver might not function properly, leading to weakness, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale skin and black tarry stool.”
That’s why the NHS also warns against increasing your dose as overdosing can have “serious” effects.
As melena isn’t the only unwanted effect linked to paracetamol, you should always refer to the patient information leaflet that came with your medicine to see the full list of possible problems.
The NHS reminds the pain relief rarely causes side effects as long as you stick to the correct dose.
What’s more, the health service also notes that it’s “safe” to take paracetamol with most prescription medicines, including antibiotics.
If you’re unsure about dosing or any potential side effects, speak to a health professional.