August 11, 2022

Side effects of paracetamol: frequent coughing episodes are a sign of an allergic reaction

The pain medication can take up to an hour to work its magic and is suitable for most people, except those with an allergic reaction. What are the signs that you are not suitable for paracetamol? The National Institute for Health and Excellence in Care (NICE) warns of bronchospasm as a possible side effect of taking the pain reliever. Experts at Winchester Hospital explained, “Bronchospasm is a reversible narrowing of the airways in response to a stimulus.”

Paracetamol can act as a trigger, causing tightening, swelling, and excess mucus in the sensitive airways.

Signs of bronchospasm may include:

  • To cough
  • Tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in breathing

Factors that increase your risk for bronchospasm include a family history of asthma.

Occupational exposure to chemicals, smoke, fumes or vapors could increase the risk of developing bronchospasm.

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This includes people with liver or kidney problems, those who drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and those who take medication for epilepsy.

In addition, anyone taking anticoagulant warfarin should also consult a pharmacist before taking paracetamol.

Other causes of frequent coughing

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, one of the main symptoms of a Covid infection is frequent coughing.

The NHS describes “a new continuous cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you cough usually it may be worse than usual)”.

However, if you have a chronic cough, smoking is the main cause.

Sooner or later, most smokers develop a chronic “smoker’s cough” because the body is irritated by the chemicals inhaled by smoking.

These dangerous chemicals can lead to bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

For non-smokers, there are five main reasons why you might have a chronic cough, which are:

  • Post-nasal secretions
  • Asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Treatment with ACE inhibitors.