Crocin, paracetamol or medically-termed Acetaminophen is generic drug we use quite often to relieve headaches or pain in any part of our body. It is considered a safe drug, however, we should really question its safety to our liver, skin and even our brains.

What is paracetamol used for?

It is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication used in several different drugs across the world. In the US, 23% of adults use medication containing some form of acetaminophen according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). It is considered safer than a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that relieves pain, but may also increase the risk for heart or stomach problems. It is use commonly for:

  • Muscle Aches
  • Back Pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Common Cold
  • Toothache
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Arthritis

Paracetamol: Damage to the Liver

One of the most well known risks of this drug is liver damage. It can be caused by overdosing on this drug. This is because this medication is metabolised (broken-down) in the liver and excreted in the urine. However, some of the paracetamol is converted into a toxic metabolite, which harms liver cells. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US stated that acetaminophen was the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. Half of the liver failure cases were caused by accidental overdose of the drug.

Paracetamol: Causing Severe Skin Allergies

The FDA released a report stating that approximately 107 cases of severe skin allergy in the US between 1969 and 2012 were caused by using acetaminophen, which resulted in 12 deaths and 67 hospitalisations. In 2013, a warning was raised suggesting that the drug caused quite a few fatal skin reactions like toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS). So, if you have chronic pain and have been taking paracetamol for a long time, it may be best to check for these adverse reactions on your skin.

Paracetamol: ADHD and Autism

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Autism are risk factors for children whose mother consumed acetaminophen during pregnancy. Although it has commonly been considered safe to use, several studies have suggested otherwise according to medicalnewstoday. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology analysed 2600 pregnant women and found that if the expectant women consumed acetaminophen during he first 32 weeks of pregnancy, their chances of having a child with autism or ADHD increased by 30%.

So, if you always reach out for a paracetamol for any pain relief or fever, maybe you should keep these dangers in mind.

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