Why Paracetamol, Four Other Drugs Should Never Be Abused


Why Paracetamol, Four Other Drugs You Should Never Be Abused

It is true that over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be bought in any pharmaceutical outlet. This is because OTCs are bought to treat symptoms of several illnesses that usually don’t require any diagnosis.

One popular over-the-counter drug is Paracetamol used to treat body pains and headaches.

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What are Over-the-counter medicines?

These are drugs purchased at the pharmacy for treating minor health symptoms without a doctor’s prescription.

These conditions include:

  • Minor aches and pains.
  • Fever.
  • Flu
  • Diarrhea.
  • Allergies.
  • Sore throats.

However, there are several other conditions where OTCs must be prescribed by a doctor.

These conditions include:

  • Malaria.
  • Typhoid fever.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Whooping cough.
  • Migraine.

Since OTC drugs can be easily purchased at the pharmaceutical, it is important to understand that these drugs should not be abused.

Among the drugs that shouldn’t be abused are:


People argue that paracetamol is a painkiller and has no side effects. According to a post by seasoned online Nigerian doctor, Aproko doctor, what has an effect has a side effect, even water.

Wellness Healthcare boss, Pharm Adetutu Afolabi, recommends 1000mg per dosage of paracetamol.

What this means is that two tablets of paracetamol which consists of 500 mg each should be taken at once.

However, some persons take more than two tablets which could wreak havoc to their liver.

She clarified that doctors may prescribe three doses per day when treating malaria. So, it is important to follow this prescription because exceeding the prescription could lead to liver damage.

Read the latest health news in Nigeria on Identifying Fake Medicines In Nigeria

Cough Syrup:

Dextromethorphan is an ingredient used in several OTC cough and cold medicines. While this ingredient functions as a calming agent to a patient, some patients abuse it for this purpose.

In an article obtained from Kids Health, the maximum consumption of Dextromethorphan is 15 mg every four hours. This is to be used for a period directed on the leaflet in the medicine pack. Since this drug also helps relax the nerve, some people take it for this purpose without a prescription.

Before using it for this purpose, patients are advised to consult with their doctor.

Abuse of the drug leads to short-term side effects such as:

  • Hallucination and out of the body sensation.
  • Difficulty controlling limbs.
  • Impaired judgement.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Dry, itchy and facial redness.
  • Confusion and paranoia.
  • Belly pain.
  • Restlessness.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • High blood pressure.

Terminal side effects of Dextromethorphan include:

  • Brain damage.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Seizures.
  • High body temperature.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Examples of Drugs with Dextromethorphan are:

  • Codeine.
  • Vicks
  • Coricidin.
  • Delsym
  • Dimetapp.
  • Mucinex.
  • Sucrets
  • Robitussin.

Anti-diarrhoea drugs:

These are OTC drugs used to treat diarrhoea by slowing down movements in the guts. It also reduces the amount of bowel movement and makes the stool solid.

A report from Family doctor reveals that anti-diarrhoea drugs are also used in patients who have just undergone surgery.

It is important to note that these OTC drugs like the others treat only symptoms.

Examples of anti-diarrhoea are:

  • Loperamide (1 brand name: Imodium).
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (2 brand names: Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol).

Excessive intake of either of these drugs are:

  • Dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Constipation.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Blackened stool.
  • Alarming sound in the ear.

When taking Loperamide, it is important to speak with a doctor if you want to use another drug.

This is because it affects the potency of the drugs.

Sore throat drugs:

Sore throat drugs contain acetaminophen. This is used to treat symptoms such as:

  • Sore throat.
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Body aches.

Pharmacists recommend that users should read the label of this drug before using it. Acetaminophen can be used with other drugs only after consultation with the doctor. This is because an overdose of this drug can also affect the liver.

 Other side effects of acetaminophen include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Dark urine.
  • Yellowish eyes and skin.
  • Sweating.
  • Stomach and abdominal pain.

WebMD warns against daily intake of alcohol when using acetaminophen. This is because the combination may damage your liver.

Allergy Drugs:

Allergy drugs are used to treat allergens in the body. To understand allergens, explaining allergies is important.

What are allergies?

According to RxList, allergies occurs when the body’s immune system responds to an invasive substance. What this means is that your immune system reacts to a substance it considers strange and invasive. There are no universal allergies because what one immune system rejects another accepts.

Symptoms of allergies include:

  • Watery eyes.
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy skin.
  • Rash.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Swelling of the throat.


Treatment for allergies varies from the kind of reactions. The treatments are usually over-the-counter.

Minor allergy can be treated with:

  • Antihistamines.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Decongestants.
  • Congestion-related allergy symptoms are treated with Saline nasal rinses.
  • Immunotherapy is used for treating chronic therapy.

Side effects

The side effects include:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Restlessness or moodiness (in some children).
  • Difficulty peeing.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Confusion.

To avoid the side effects of allergies, users should know when to stop. Also, if the treatment fails to work patients should see their doctor.

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