Can you take paracetamol on an empty stomach? | The Sun

Can you take paracetamol on an empty stomach? | The Sun

July 21, 2022

MOST people take paracetamol now and again for common aches and ailments.

If you're out and about when pain strikes – then you might not always have a full tummy.

But does that matter and can you take the pills on an empty stomach?

Here is the lowdown on everything you need to know about paracetamol.

Can I take paracetamol before eating?

According to the NHS, paracetamol can be taken with or without food.

As with all medicines, there are many dos and don'ts, and paracetamol is no different.

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How long does paracetamol take to work?

It is important to read the guidelines on the packaging and to consult with your GP regarding any medications you are taking.

If you take too many paracetamol tablets you should call 999 for emergency medical care.

How and when to take paracetamol?

You can use the medication to treat aches, pains, and high temperatures.

It's available in tablet form, which you can swallow with water.

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How long does paracetamol take to work?

For those who struggle to swallow whole tablets, it's also available in syrup form or as a soluble tablet.

The NHS states that the medication is safe to use at the correct dose of one or two tablets up to four times in 24 hours.

For example, if you take your first dose of one or two tablets (or the equivalent alternative form) at 9am then you should not take a second dose until 1pm.

You could then take the third dose at 5pm and a fourth and final dose at 9pm, which comes to a total of four doses of one or two tablets in 24 hours.

Whatever time you start to take paracetamol, it is important to always leave four hours until you take the next dose.

Guidance states: "Overdosing on paracetamol can cause serious side effects. Do not be tempted to increase the dose or to take a double dose if your pain is very bad."

Adhering to the dosage guidelines is essential.

A study by Oxford University says: "Most people have no idea of the maximum daily dose of paracetamol.In the UK about one in four people frequently exceeds the maximum daily dose."

How long does it take for paracetamol to work?

Paracetamol takes up to an hour to work – after taking one or two 500mg tablets.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) states that "paracetamol is available in immediate-release (short-acting) and modified release (long-acting) preparations."

However, researchers at Oxford University say that "paracetamol can provide pain relief, but only for a small number of people. For postoperative pain, perhaps one in four people benefit; for headache perhaps one in ten". 

If you have other medical concerns you should call the NHS Helpline on 111.

It is always important to discuss health issues with your GP.

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