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What does it do?

Paracetamol is used to treat and prevent mild to moderate pain, and reduce fever.

Before you start

  • Tell your health professional if you have liver problems.
  • Tell your health professional if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you take it?

Take paracetamol tablets and capsules as directed with a glass of water.
Dissolve the dispersible tablets in water.
Swallow the slow release tablets whole.
Measure the oral liquid carefully with an oral syringe or measuring cup. Shake the bottle well before measuring each dose.
Remove the wrapper before inserting the suppositories into the rectum.

What if you forget a dose?

Should an occasional dose be missed it need not be taken later.

Can you take other medicines?

Paracetamol is contained in a wide variety of pain relief and cough and cold medicines. Do not take other medicines that also contain paracetamol, unless you discuss this with a health professional.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Skin rash, skin peeling or blisters

Stop taking and see your doctor immediately

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Do not take more than the stated dose. For adults this is usually up to a maximum of 8 tablets/capsules (500 mg) in 24 hours, or 6 slow-release tablets (665 mg) in 24 hours. Taking too much paracetamol can cause liver failure.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed