Paracetamol: Take its dosage with care
India sold over 350 crore Dolo tablets since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 and this proves its increased usage. Though the medicine is considered safe, it can have significant side effects.
The most common medicine people taking in the third wave of coronavirus is Dolo 650 mg. The more common and popular brand of the drug is called Paracetamol, a medicine which is recommended during fever, pain and body ache. India sold over 350 crore Dolo tablets since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020. If we stack the sold tablets vertically, it’s about 6,000 times as tall as Mount Everest- the world’s highest mountain. Internet also flooded with memes after its sky-rocketing sales.
If these tablets have been sold in crores, the consumption is supposed to be higher than ever. Though the medicine is considered safe, but it can have significant side effects if the required dosage recommended is exceeded. It’s crucial to take its dose with care.
“Some patients may complain of nausea, abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea, dizziness after consumption of this tablet. If taken in excessive amounts, it can have serious side-effects especially liver damage which happens if dosage is more than 4 grams per day,” says Dr. Sumit Bhatia, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterologist, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
For adults, the dosages vary between 500mg and 650mg. But, for children, it comes in syrups, drops and suppository forms. “Especially in the paediatric population, the caregivers have to be vigilant about the dosage of the medicines because different formulations have different concentration of paracetamol. For example, 1 paediatric drop is 100 mg of paracetamol whereas in the syrup formulation, 5mil will be 125mg. It shouldn’t be taken for every symptoms or without medical consultation,” adds Bhatia.
In comparison to last year, Dolo-650 has almost achieved a growth of 65%, which is humongous and goes to prove the increased usage, especially with a notion to relieve pain after Covid vaccination. “Prolonged usage of such medication has serious long term ill effects on the body which may include loss of kidney functions, irregular heartbeat, affects the Central Nervous system, depletes platelet count, wheezing etc. Side effects may include swelling of face, lips throat, rashes on the skin. Those on blood thinners, history of renal ailments or heart disease should not take Dolo 650 without doctors’ prescription,” says Dr. Vinay Agarwal, former National President of Indian Medical Association.
Paracetamol is available in various brand names from Calpol to Dolo and Crocin. “Not just the people who are having some liver issues should be careful while consuming the dose, but people who are taking alcohol on a regular basis need to take lower doses,” says Dr. Ashutosh Shukla, Senior Director, Internal Medicine and Medical Advisor, Max Hospital, Gurugram.