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Paracetamol (OTC) for treatment of Common Cold in Adults with cold

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    Unclear

    Bottom Line

  • Treatment with Paracetamol. 4 valid studies conducted, with 758 adults. Unclear impact. May relieve runny and stuffy nose, and does not relief sneezing and coughing. Side effects seem minor as long as you avoid overdose.

    • Curefacts.com -  Evidence icon EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING
    • Curefacts.com -  Effectiveness icon EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
    • Curefacts.com -  Safety Circle icon SAFETY | MILD RISKS

Recommendations

Try this treatment with caution:

Unclear impact. The risks and the benefits in treating Common Cold are uncertain. It may relieve runny nose and stuffy nose. Side effects seem minor, but accidental overdose is relatively common and fatal.

Doctors Say That Curefacts.com -  Tooltip icon

The suggested benefits of relieving runny and stuffy nose are unfounded and do not make clinical sense.

If you do not have fever or pain, better avoid this treatment, and use proven remedies instead.

About Paracetamol (OTC)

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol), usually in tablets

  • Curefacts.com - Population icon

    Target Population:

    Adults with cold, 16 to 65 years old

  • Curefacts.com - Dosage icon

    Dosage:

    Varies according to brand, age and weight. 3-6 times a day and a maximum 4, 000 mg/day for adults.

  • Curefacts.com - Goal icon

    Goal:

    Treatment of Common Cold symptoms

Research Summary

  • Curefacts.com - Green Pages icon Needs more testing
  • 4 Clinical Studies
  • 758 Curefacts.com - Tooltip icon Adults Tested
  • Unclear
  • Benefits:

    Unclear, more research is needed. May help relieve runny nose and blockage of the nose.

  • Curefacts.com - Safety icon Mild risks
  • Risks:

    Unclear, more research is needed. Minor reported side effects include stomach and intestinal discomfort, dizziness, dry mouth and increased sweating. Overdose is common and can cause fatal liver failure.

Common Cold Overview

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    Medical problem:

    Common Cold (symptoms caused by viral infection of the upper respiratory system).

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    Symptoms and signs:

    Cough, general discomfort, headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose and weakness.

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    Complications:

    Bacterial infections: lung infection, middle ear infection, strep throat, sinus infection.

Additional Information

Paracetamol

Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen or APAP, is a medication used to treat pain and fever. It is typically used for mild to moderate pain. The quality of the evidence regarding the use for fever relief in children is poor. It is often sold in combination with other ingredients such as in many cold medications. In combination with opioid pain medication, paracetamol is also used for more severe pain such as cancer pain and pain after surgery. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally but is also available intravenously. Effects last between two and four hours. Paracetamol is classified as a mild analgesic. It does not have significant anti-inflammatory activity and how it works is not entirely clear. Paracetamol was discovered in 1877. (source)

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