Paracetamol works differently depending on what is wrong with the body. In the event of an injury, it blocks the signals sent to the brain telling the body that it is in pain. Meanwhile, during a fever, paracetamol targets areas of the brain that regulate body temperature. The painkiller can be used for all kinds of conditions, including back pain, headaches, migraines, and upset stomach.
However, like all medications, there are some side effects, albeit rare, associated with taking paracetamol.
Some of them are manageable, others require the immediate presence of a doctor.
One of them is the skin turning pale yellow; this is also known as jaundice.
If this happens, contact a doctor immediately.
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This is not the only side effect that should prompt a call to a medical professional.
If breathing is difficult or troubled, irregularly rapid or slow, or shallow, a physician should be consulted.
The NHS recommends also seeking emergency treatment in the event of a severe allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction to paracetamol may present as a rash with “itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin”.
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Medicines used to thin the blood, treat epilepsy or tuberculosis are not necessarily suitable in the company of paracetamol because, in the case of blood thinners, paracetamol can increase the risk of bleeding when taken regularly.
Medicinal plants are not immune to this caution either; St. John’s wort, for example, should only be taken with paracetamol under medical supervision.
Although the list of side effects may seem confusing, they are there to provide information so that the user is aware of what might happen after consuming the drug.
For more information, contact your GP or see the leaflet provided with each box of paracetamol.
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