an antipyretic analgesic agent also known as acetaminophen in the USA
1st synthesised in 1877
extensive use commenced around 1947, initially as prescription only in USA
OTC status gained in 1960 in USA
toxic effects 1st noted in 1971
paracetamol is generally a very safe drug with few adverse effects and is well tolerated.
HOWEVER, in excessive dosing(s), fatal hepatotoxicity may occur
even normal doses may cause fatal liver failure if prolonged in susceptible patients (eg. malnourished or those with liver disease)
for example, see here (MJA 2007)
for a fatal case where a 45yr old lady was ordered 1g paracetamol qid strictly for 8 days whilst nil by mouth for an abdominal surgical condition.
clinical stages of toxicity:
stage 1 (0-24hrs):
stage 2 (24-48hrs):
stage 3 (48-96hrs):
stage 4 (>96hrs):
paracetamol.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/16 23:51 (external edit)