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Paracetamol And The Risk Of Liver Damage

Doctor Thanh Thanh, Vietnam Institute of Applied Medicine told Health and Life , paracetamol if used in accordance with the instructions, usually does not cause side effects.

However, if used too much, paracetamol can cause serious side effects, even death.

The following are possible side effects if Paracetamol is misused:

Allergic reactions

- Shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing.

- Swelling of the 
throat, face, lips or tongue.

- Rash.

- Itching much.

- Flaking or blisters on the skin.

Serious liver damage

Dr. Thanh Thanh said that all products containing paracetamol have a liver warning.

The cause of liver damage is N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI) that attaches to the liver cell membrane. If not neutralized by antioxidants, this will damage the cell's lipid bilayer.

The liver's glutathione is a major antioxidant that binds and neutralizes NAPQI. Therefore, when paracetamol overdose, glutathione is deficient and if over 70% of normal amount, NAPQI is not neutralized and causes damage to liver cells.

Serious liver damage can occur if you:

- Take more than 4g (4000 mg) of paracetamol per day.

- Drink more than 1 product containing paracetamol at the same time.

- Drink 3 or more glasses of alcohol a day when using paracetamol.

Symptoms of liver damage:

- Jaundice or yellow eyes.

- Abdominal pain in the lower right flank.

- Nausea or vomiting.

- Anorexia.

- Tired.

- More sweat than usual.

- Greenstone.

- Unusual bruising or bleeding.

- The urine is dark or colored like tea.

- Going outside the black stool.


- Read the directions carefully when using the drug.

- In cases of headache, toothache, joint pain, pain from falls, trauma ... it is mandatory to take paracetamol, it should be noted that the drug works after taking about 15 - 30 minutes and maximum effect in 3-4 hours.

Therefore, the drug must be taken at least 4 hours apart. The drug is metabolized in the liver into a water-soluble substance and excreted in the urine.

- When taking the drug do not drink beer, alcohol and other drugs that can increase the toxicity of paracetamol such as isoniazid.

- Drunk, people with cardiovascular disease, lung, kidney, liver or lack of 6GP ... Do not take paracetamol.

- Use paracetamol slowly release mechanism to prolong the drug effect and less harmful to the liver.

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