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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.