August 11, 2022

Health Experts Warn Against Consuming Paracetamol and Soda Mix to Treat Depression


Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Several social media posts have shared a claim that consuming paracetamol pain reliever dissolved in a soft drink works as a cure for anxiety and depression. But these messages are misleading. Several health experts told AFP that there was no credible evidence that the mixture could treat the conditions. They also warn that unregulated consumption of the mixture could lead to damage.

The claim was shared on Twitter here June 4, 2021.

The message in Tagalog reads: “Anxiety, depression + depression, anxiety. keep turning back and forth. should i do it too? the trendy tiktok coke with paracetamol ”.

A screenshot of the misleading message taken on June 22, 2021

An identical claim was also shared here and here on Twitter; here and here on Facebook; and here on Youtube.

These posts refer to a popular trend on TikTok where users in the Philippines post videos – for example here, here and here – showing them dissolving paracetamol at Coca-Cola.

TikTok videos viewed over 600,000 times since May 2021 recommend the blend as a way to relieve anxiety and depression,

However, these messages are misleading, according to several health experts.

Not approved

Paracetamol and coca do not separately contain ingredients that help fight anxiety or depression, Charibel Escandalor, president of the nonprofit Philippine College of Psychopharmacology, told AFP on June 16. 2021.

“[Paracetamol] is a pain reliever and is mistaken for fever. There is no other approved use for paracetamol, ”Escandalor said. “If you look at the clinical practice guidelines for depression and anxiety, you won’t see paracetamol on any list. “

“Caffeine is a stimulant,” Escandalor added. “[People with anxiety and depression] aren’t going to do very well if they keep on caffeinating themselves.

Consuming paracetamol beyond its recommended daily allowance is dangerous, Robert Buenaventura, a member of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, told AFP on June 7.

“People think paracetamol… is a harmless drug. [But an overdose] can be dangerous, especially for liver function. It can [also] impair breathing, ”he said.

Self-medication is not recommended for people with symptoms of anxiety and depression, Jose Mari Iborac, head of the Philippine National Center for Mental Health, told AFP on June 15.

“Before taking any medication, we should seek advice from healthcare professionals,” Iborac said.

Multiple keyword searches of the academic Google Scholar database have found no credible studies indicating that consuming paracetamol dissolved in sodas relieves anxiety and depression.