[VIDEO] We Asked A Medical Specialist To Debunk These Common Myths About Paracetamol

We asked him about the four main concerns surrounding the usage of paracetamol, and whether or not they're actually true.

Cover image via SAYS (YouTube)

Everyone responds to pain differently. Some take medication to ease the pain as soon as they can, while others only use pain relievers as a last resort.

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Talkspace

There are a variety of pain relievers on the market. The main difference among them is the active drug ingredient that's used, and the one that most Malaysians are familiar with is paracetamol.

Paracetamol does two things - reduces pain and reduces fever. It is widely used, and is the first choice of drug for mild to moderate pain.

However, the Global Pain Index data shows that Malaysians are less likely to medicate

Survey results show only 48% of Malaysians take pain medication, compared to 65% globally. 3 in 4 Malaysians prefer to rest up and to sleep off their pain, than to treat it.

There are many reasons for this, including health concerns and possibly drug safety.

To get a better understanding, we spoke to Consultant Anesthetist and Pain Management Specialist Dr Gopinathan Raju

We asked him about the four main concerns surrounding the usage of paracetamol, and whether or not they're actually true.

Watch the full video below to see what he said:

Myth #1: Paracetamol stays in my body for a long time

Image via SAYS (YouTube)

Dr Gopinathan: "Paracetamol, the moment you swallow the tablet, it takes about 40 to 80 minutes to onset action, and get immediate relief within an hour. The longest that paracetamol can stay in your body is not more than 24 hours. It has to come out."

Myth #2: Paracetamol is harmful to my body

Image via SAYS (YouTube)

Dr Gopinathan: "Paracetamol will not harm your body if you take in the recommended dosage. If not more than two tablets at one go, that's fine. It only becomes a problem when you overtake it."

Myth #3: I'll need something stronger when my body gets used to it

Image via SAYS (YouTube)

Dr Gopinathan: "You can take it for however long you want, in the recommended dosage, it does nothing to you. As long as your liver is fine, and you don't overdose yourself."

Myth #4: I worry that two pills might be too much for my body

Image via SAYS (YouTube)

Dr Gopinathan: "For any healthy adult, say about 40kgs and above, as long as you don't exceed 4g a day or 8 tablets a day, whichever dose you calculate, it's a very tolerant drug. And I always say there are no bad medications, there are only bad users."

Delaying treatment can affect your productivity, sociability, and potentially even cause serious health problems

Image via SAYS (YouTube)

Dr Gopinathan: "The key message is, when you have pain, you should not suffer. Every medication is meant to work at a certain dose. But most of the cases, with a mild pain, if you can control your pain with medication, well and good.

"But don't procrastinate, and don't wait too long if your pain is bothering you. If it affects your thing, you must get it sorted out. The earlier the sorted out, the better."

The next time you reach out for pain relief, make sure you read the labels

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via NPS MedicineWise

Sometimes, paracetamol can be found in combination with other drugs such as flu medication. So, be mindful of the dosage you take.

If you have any other concerns, do consult with a medical professional before usage.

The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care.

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