May 20, 2022

Age restrictions for paracetamol: how old do you have to be to buy paracetamol?

Paracetamol is a medicine cabinet staple, often used to treat mild to moderate pain and lower fever. You can also find it in a range of cold and flu treatments, as well as in combination with other pain relievers and anti-disease medications.

With flu season approaching, Britons can stock up on pain relievers and remedies for colds and flu.

The coronavirus and the flu can both cause pain, headaches, high temperatures, and a general feeling of being unwell.

Taking pain relievers like paracetamol can alleviate these symptoms, which helps manage colds and flu at home.

You can buy pain relievers like paracetamol and ibuprofen at most supermarkets and drugstores – however, there are restrictions on the age and number of tablets you can buy at a time.

Read more: Paracetamol toxicity: signs you might have liver disease

To help you get better faster:

  • rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light or light yellow)

If you are worried about yourself or someone else who has the flu, the NHS advises you to seek advice from 111.

Get advice from 111 if

  • you worry about your baby’s or child’s symptoms
  • you are 65 or over
  • You are pregnant
  • you have a long-term health problem – for example, diabetes or heart, lung, kidney, or neurological disease
  • you have a weakened immune system – for example, from chemotherapy or HIV
  • your symptoms do not improve after 7 days

NHS 111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need it.