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What Are the Different Types of Paracetamol Tablets?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, tablets have varying strengths, are available in adult and child forms, and may dissolve in different ways. This medication is frequently sold over the counter under generic or brand names, and may come in extended or standard release varieties. Additionally, some paracetamol tablets contain other active ingredients, like prescription pain relievers or caffeine. Alone or in combination, the drug is also available in many other forms, like capsules and elixirs.

For over-the-counter pure paracetamol tablets, adult strengths are likely to be divided into regular, or 325 milligram (mg), pills and extra strength, which is ordinarily 500 mg. Extended release types of the drug may have a higher strength pill, and instructions must be carefully followed to avoid exceeding a safe maximum dose. Pediatric tablets may vary in their strength and are based on the age group for which they’re intended. Typically, chewable or dissolving tablets for young children and youths are 80-160 mg.

Most adults find it easier to swallow tablets, instead of chewing them or letting them dissolve in the mouth. Still, some companies may market chewables or easy-dissolve tablets in adult strengths. It’s certainly not cost-effective for adults to use children or youth paracetamol tablets because they would need to take many tablets to get an appropriate dose.

There are many medications that are mixed with acetaminophen. Some combination over-the-counter paracetamol tablets are stronger pain relievers and may contain aspirin and caffeine. A few cough, cold, or sinus relief formulas also include this drug to lower fevers or target pain associated with these conditions.

Prescription pain relievers are frequently paired with paracetamol. Drugs like tramadol, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine may contain it, and it is usually added in 325 mg or 500 mg strengths. Since extra amounts of paracetamol can cause liver damage, it’s very important that people follow dosing directions for these medicines. Patients should never take two separate medications containing acetaminophen together, unless they are directed by a physician to do so.

While paracetamol tablets are common forms of the medication, they’re not always preferred. Young children or adults who have difficulty swallowing tablets or pills may use liquids or elixirs, instead. Capsules or caplets can sometimes be preferred to tablets. Alternately, a quick dissolving form of the drug might be a small transparent sheet instead of a pill. Suppositories with paracetamol may also be a better choice if it is difficult to take any oral form of the medication.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Mar 15, 2013
Pediatric paracetamol tablets are great. My daughter takes them without fuss! She says they taste good.
By burcinc — On Mar 15, 2013

@burcidi-- Yes, paracetamol gel caps are available, just check your pharmacy.

If anyone has trouble swallowing, it's available in liquid form as well. When I had my tonsils removed, I couldn't swallow any tablets or capsules so I was taking liquid paracetamol. There is a children's version of the liquid, as well as an adult version.

By burcidi — On Mar 14, 2013

Is paracetamol available as a gel capsule?

I try to take medications in this form if possible because it's effective for a longer period of time and it's more gentle on my stomach than tablets.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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