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Paracetamol

Last updated on June 27, 2019.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAMES: Paracetamol, Acetaminophen 

CHINESE NAME: 撲熱息痛

COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Biogesic, Panadol

What is Paracetamol for?

Paracetamol / acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used medicines today for mild to moderate pain and fever. It works by reducing the pain messengers in the body. Paracetamol and acetaminophen are different names for the same medicine. The name on the label depends on the preferred name in each country. For example, Canada and the United States people prefer using the name acetaminophen, while in much of the rest of the world they prefer the name Paracetamol. You may encounter products in Hong Kong which use either name.

How to use it?

Paracetamol can be taken by mouth, rectally or by intravenous infusion. It is safe to use for both adults and children. If you are using multiple cough and cold or pain products, make sure that you do not double up on Paracetamol to avoid using more than the maximum recommended daily dose.

The dosages for different formulations and age groups are listed below: 

Oral

Adults: 0.5-1 g every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 g daily 

Child 3-5 months: 60 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 6-23 months: 120 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 2-3 years: 180 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 4-5 years: 240 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 6-7 years: 240-250 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 8-9 years: 360-375 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 10-11 years: 480-500 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 12-15 years: 480-750 mg every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 16-17 years: 0.5 -1 g every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

 

Rectal

Remove the wrapper, and insert suppository into the rectum

Adults: 0.5-1 g every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 4 g daily 

Child 3-11 months: 60-125 mg every 4-6 hours as required, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 1-4 years: 125-250 mg every 4-6 hours as required, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 5-11 years: 250-500 mg every 4-6 hours as required, up to a maximum of 4 doses daily 

Child 12-17 years: 500 mg every 4-6 hours

What are the side effects of Paracetamol?

Paracetamol has an excellent safety profile and it is rare to experience side effects from Paracetamol within the acceptable dosage range. If used above recommended doses however, Paracetamol can cause liver toxicity.

Where to buy Paracetamol in Hong Kong?

Oral and rectal preparations are over-the-counter medicines. They can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. They can also be obtained from doctors. Intravenous infusion preparations are prescription only medicines, which require a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

For detailed information about the use of Paracetamol in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

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